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Tax Rates for Your 2015 Financial and Tax Planning

More than likely, you’re all finished with this year’s tax return. Now that this is behind you, you may want to consider planning your 2015 finances to maximize your tax savings for your next return.

The earlier you plan your taxes, the easier it is to take advantage of every available tax credit and deduction. Also, planning early on gives you time to adjust to financial changes in your life such as marriage, a new job, or buying a house. Forbes shares the 2015 tax rates for individual taxpayers, married filing jointly, head of household, married filing separately, and trusts and estates, along with top credits and deductions for 2015:

“Last fall, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the annual inflation adjustments for a number of provisions for the year 2015, including tax rate schedules, tax tables and cost-of-living adjustments for certain tax items effective January 1, 2015. This is the information that you’ll use to prepare your 2015 tax returns in 2016.

“The tax rates for 2015 are as follows:

Individual Taxpayers rates 2015

married taxpayers tax rates for 2015

heads of household

married filling separately tax ratestrusts and estates“The standard deduction amounts for 2015 are as follows:

standard deduction amountsForbes explains the most common tax breaks for 2015:

  • “Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). For 2015, the maximum EITC amount available is $3,359 for taxpayers filing jointly with one child; $5,548 for two children; $6,242 for three or more children (up from $6,143 in 2014) and $503 for no children. Phaseouts are based on filing status and number of children and begin at $8,240 for single taxpayers with no children and $18,110 for single taxpayers with one or more children.
  • “Child & Dependent Care Credit. For 2015, the value used to determine the amount of credit that may be refundable is $3,000 (the credit amount has not changed). Keep in mind that this is the value of the expenses used to determine the credit and not the actual amount of the credit.
  • “Adoption Credit. For 2015, the credit allowed for an adoption of a child with special needs is $13,400, and the maximum credit allowed for other adoptions is the amount of qualified adoption expenses up to $13,400. Phaseouts do apply beginning at taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $201,010 and completely phased out for taxpayers with MAGI of $241,010 or more.
  • “Hope Scholarship Credit. The Hope Scholarship Credit for 2015 will be an amount equal to 100% of qualified tuition and related expenses not in excess of $2,000 plus 25% of those expenses in excess of $2,000 but not in excess of $4,000. That means that the maximum Hope Scholarship Credit allowable for 2015 is $2,500. Income restrictions do apply and for 2015, those kick in for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for a joint return).
  • “Lifetime Learning Credit. As with the Hope Scholarship Credit, income restrictions apply to the Lifetime Learning Credit. For 2015, those restrictions begin with taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $55,000 ($110,000 for a joint return).

“Changes were also made to certain tax Deductions, deferrals & exclusions for 2015. You’ll find some of the most common here:

  • “Student Loan Interest Deduction. For 2015, the maximum amount that you can take as a deduction for interest paid on student loans remains at $2,500. Phaseouts apply for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $65,000 ($130,000 for joint returns), and is completely phased out for taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $80,000 or more ($160,000 or more for joint returns).
  • “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. For 2015, the foreign earned income exclusion finally hits six figures: it’s now $100,800, up from $99,200 for 2014.
  • “Flexible Spending Accounts. The annual dollar limit on employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending accounts (FSA) edges up to $2,550 for 2015 (up from $2,500).
  • “Elective Contribution Limits. The elective deferral limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan increased from $17,500 in 2014 to $18,000 in 2015. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $5,500 in 2014 to $6,000 in 2015.
  • “IRA Contributions. The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over remains at $1,000.”