IRS Standard Deduction & Exemption Amounts (2023 & 2024)

This standard deduction article has been updated with information for the 2023 and 2024 tax years. The IRS has released its 2024 standard deduction amounts. Each year, the IRS adjusts standard deduction amounts for inflation (similar to its tax rate brackets, maximum 401K and maximum IRA contribution levels, etc.). With recent inflation levels, there are some noteworthy inflation adjustment increases over the 2023 standard deductions for taxpayers. Most readers are still primarily focused on 2023 tax returns, so we’ll detail both the 2023 standard deduction and 2024 standard deduction amounts in this article.

What is a Standard Deduction?

The standard deduction can lower a taxpayer’s taxable income by allowing them to deduct a specified amount defined by the IRS on their tax return. The standard deduction reduces the amount of taxable income, dollar-for-dollar. The amount is adjusted for inflation each year, and varies based on the taxpayers filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, or head of household), age (there is an additional standard deduction for those age 65+), and vision (there is an additional standard deduction for individuals who are legally blind).

Taxpayers typically have the choice between claiming the set standard deduction amount or itemizing tax deductions where they add up all possible deductions for the year. Using tax software (see my cheapest efile recommendations), taxpayers can calculate which of the two (standard or total itemized) deductions would be higher and choose to deduct that amount from their taxable income. In that regard, the standard deduction is a benefit to those with lower itemized deductions. The standard deduction will be the single largest tax deduction most taxpayers will take.

Aside from the standard deductions, there are income tax credits that can be claimed, whether you itemize your taxes or take the standard deduction, for eligible dependents (more on that below).

Note that with the “Tax Cut & Jobs Act” tax reform that went into effect in 2018, the standard deduction levels were increased and personal exemption deductions were eliminated, along with a number of other significant changes to the tax code. These changes are set to expire starting in 2026 without further legislation extending them.

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What Percent of Taxpayers Take the Standard Deduction?

According to the IRS, 87.3% of filers claimed the standard deduction in the first year after it was raised via tax reform (2018).

2023 Standard Deductions & Exemptions

The standard deductions for 2023 are:

Filing Status:Standard Deduction Amount:
Married Filing Separately (spouse cannot itemize)$13,850
Married Filing Jointly (& Surviving Spouses)$27,700
Head of Household$20,800
Additional Standard Deduction for Age 65+ or Blind$1,500
Additional Standard Deduction for Age 65+ or Blind AND unmarried or not a surviving spouse$1,850
Personal Exemption$0

2024 Standard Deductions & Exemptions

The standard deductions for 2024 are:

Filing Status:Standard Deduction Amount:
Married Filing Separately$14,600
Married Filing Jointly (& Surviving Spouses)$29,200
Head of Household$21,900
Additional Standard Deduction for Age 65+ or Blind$1,550
Additional Standard Deduction for Age 65+ or Blind AND unmarried or not a surviving spouse$1,950
Personal Exemption$0

Claiming Dependents in 2023 and 2024

Separate from the standard deduction are credits for “dependents”. Dependents are most often children – and, if qualified, they might result in a Child Tax Credit of up to $2,000. Other qualified relative dependents may result in a tax credit up to $500.

Note that spouses cannot be claimed as dependents.

Don’t Forget the Earned Income Tax Credit

Those with (and even without) children may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) if their income falls within specified ranges and they meet other criteria. I’d recommend becoming familiar with the EITC as it is one of the most significant tax credits within the U.S. tax code.

Standard Deduction & Other Tax Resources

For more information on standard deductions, itemizing taxes, various tax credits and deductions, check out IRS publication 501 and my summarized “how to do your taxes” guide.

Standard Deduction Discussion

  • Will you be itemizing your taxes or taking the standard deduction this year?

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