What is a personal exemption phaseout? How does it work? Can you explain it to me in a way I can understand it?
Tax Professional Answers
The 2013 phaseout thresholds are:
- $250,000 for single taxpayers
- $300,000 for married filing jointly and surviving spouses
- $275,000 for head of household
- $150,000 for married filing separately
The phaseout thresholds are indexed for inflation for tax years beginning after 2013. The PEP was suspended during tax years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Example: Jon, a single taxpayer, has AGI of $275,500 in 2013. The 2013 phaseout for personal exemptions began at $250,000 for single taxpayers. Without any phaseout, the personal exemption in 2013 is $3,900.
Excess of AGI over phaseout threshold: $25,500 ($275,500 - $250,000)
Divide result by $2,500 and round up to the next whole number: $25,500 / $2,500 = 10.2, rounded up to 11
Multiply result by 2% = 22% (11 x 2%)
Exemption phaseout of 22% = $858 ($3,900 × 22%)
Jon's personal exemption in 2013: $3,042 ($3,900 - $858)
If you use the formula above and plug in your number it will work out every time. Or if you would care to provide some number I would be happy to do the calculation for you.