2021 tax rates and tax planning quick reference guide

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As we lean into tax planning for tax year 2021 and tax preparation for the 2020 tax year, the quick reference summary below may be helpful for your team and your clients. Here is a printable version that can be customized with your contact information to share with your clients.

Social Security changes for 2021

Below are important changes to 2021 Social Security benefits and taxable amounts.

Social Security Changes for 2021

Standard deductions

Below are the 2021 Standard deduction amounts, indexed for inflation. Every taxpayer situation is different, so advise your clients as to whether to take the standard deduction or itemize deductions.

Standard Deduction by Filing Status

2020 tax brackets and tax rates

Below are the 2020 tax brackets and tax rates. For the 2020 tax year, the tax rates are the same, while the brackets increased.

2020 tax brackets and tax rates

2021 tax brackets and tax rates

Below are the 2021 tax brackets and tax rates. For the 2021 tax year, the tax rates are the same, while the brackets increased.

2021 tax brackets and tax rates

2021 capital gains tax rates

Below are the 2021 capital gains tax brackets and tax rates. For the 2021 tax year, the tax rates are the same, while the brackets increased.

2021 capital gains tax rates

IRA and retirement plan contributions

The annual limits for 2021 IRA contributions did not change, and most of the annual limits for 2021 retirement plan contributions did not change.

IRA and retirement plan contributions

Estimated tax due dates

Taxes are pay as you go, which means that your clients need to pay most of your tax during the year as you receive income, rather than paying at the end of the year. There are two ways to pay tax:

  1. Withholding from pay, pension, or certain government payments, such as Social Security.
  2. Making quarterly estimated tax payments during the year.

Here are the due dates for 2021 estimated tax payments:

Estimated tax due dates

Credits

The 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act introduced new tax credits related to COVID-19-related sick leave for eligible employers, and self-employed individuals. The following are common tax credits.

Credits

Expenses and exemptions

The following are expenses and exemptions to consider in planning.

Expenses v2

 

Exemptions

Visit this IRS page for a list of current IRS mileage rates for 2021.

Comments (9) Leave your comment

    1. Mr Walston – there is a link in the first paragraph to a printable version. Click on that, save the PDF and then adjust your settings. Thanks.

  1. Thanks for pulling all of this together!
    Will you be updating this for the only missing item, the recently released Mileage Rates?

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