Posted by Unifirst Financial & Tax Consultants

IRS Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2022

IRS Inflation Adjustments for Tax Year 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changes certain tax provisions each year to deal with inflation. The idea is to prevent taxpayers from losing more tax exemptions because they could earn a little more than the previous year, depending on inflation. Ideally, tax limits keep pace with the economy.

The IRS typically announces inflation adjustments for the next fiscal year in November of each year. On November 10, 2021, the IRS announced more than 60 tax limits and provisions for fiscal 2022 (filed in 2023). Knowing what they are and how they could help you plan your tax strategies and spending in 2022.

2022 Tax Brackets

The United States tax system is progressive, so you pay a higher tax percentage the more you earn. If you earn $50,000 one year, but $130,000 another year, you will pay different tax amounts. The tax system is also based on marginal brackets and rates. This means that you will not pay 24% of all your income if you fall into the 24% tax category. You will only pay this commission for the portion of income that falls within this 24% range. You will pay 10%, 12%, and 22% of the remaining income below this limit.

Inflation adjustments do not affect tax rates (the percentage you pay). It only changed the income categories to which the percentages apply.

2022 Tax rate and brackets for single and married filing separately taxpayers

The table below shows the income tax categories for each tax rate for the fiscal year 2022 for single taxpayers and those who are married but filing separate tax returns.

Income Tax Rate

  • 10% from $0 to $10,275

  • 12% from $10,276 to $41,775

  • 22% from $41,776 to $89,075

  • 24% from $89,076 to $170,050

  • 32% from $170,051 to $215,950

  • 35% from $215,951 to $539,900

  • 37% from $539,901 or more

2022 tax rate and bracket for heads of household

Those who are considered as heads of household (HOH) may earn a little more than the individual taxpayer before moving on to the next tax category, at least at lower income levels.

Income Tax Rate

  • 10% from $0 to $14,650

  • 12% from $114,651 to $55,900

  • 22% from $55,901 to $89,050

  • 24% from $89,051 to $170,050

  • 32% from $170,051 to $215,950

  • 35% from $215,951 to $539,900

  • 37% from $539,901 or more

2022 tax rate and bracket for married filing jointly

Income brackets are the most generous for married taxpayers who file joint returns. Their value is double that of individual filers, so they can accommodate two potential earners.

Income Tax Rate

  • 10% from $0 to $20,550

  • 12% from $20,551 to $83,550

  • 22% from $83,551 to $178,550

  • 24% from $178,551 to $340,100

  • 32% from $340,101 to $431,900

  • 35% from $431,901 to $647,850

  • 37% from $647,851 or more

2022 Standard Deductions

The standard deduction is an amount that you can deduct from your total gross income so that you only pay income tax on your balance. They also differ depending on your marital status for filing purposes. Below are the standard deduction rates for the fiscal year 2022 that apply to the income tax return you will be filing in 2023.

Filing Status

Standard Deduction

Single or Married Filing Separately


Head of Household


Married Filing Jointly



2022 Capital gains and income tax rate

Capital gains tax can come due when you sell an asset or investment for more than the amount paid. Depending on how long you hold the asset, the difference may be taxed at more favorable rates than normal tax intervals. Income is taxed at normal tax rates, along with the rest of your income, if you've owned it for a year or less. Long-term capital gain rates apply to business income you have had for more than a year.

Single Taxpayers

  • 0% from $41,675 or less

  • 15% from $41,675 to $459,750

  • 20% from $459,750 or more

Heads of Households

  • 0% from $55,800 or less

  • 15% from $55,800 to $488,500

  • 20% from $488,500 or more

Married but filing jointly

  • 0% from $83,350 or less

  • 15% from $83,350 to $517,200

  • 20% from $517,200 or more

Married taxpayers filing separately have the same income limit as taxpayers filing individually on capital gains tax rates of 0% to 15%:$41,675. However, they have a different maximum income limit of $258,600 at the rate of 15%. Income above this amount triggers the 20% capital gains tax rate.

Alternative Minimum Tax for 2022

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a provision that prevents high-income people from asking for so many tax incentives to the point where they end up paying negligible tax on their income.

If you earn above a certain income threshold, you have to calculate your income tax twice: once according to the usual rules and a second time according to the AMT rules. Again, the AMT adds certain income deductions and exclusions that you can claim under the normal rules to reduce your taxable income. Then you pay the method, which results in a higher tax.

AMT excludes income up to certain limits depending on your filing status. For the fiscal year 2022, you only need to calculate AMT if you earn more than $75,900 as a single taxpayer; it starts to drop by $539,900 for married taxpayers who file their tax return jointly; you will need to calculate the AMT if you earn $118,100 or more; it starts to phase out at $1,079,800.

Earned Income Tax Credit

The maximum earned income tax credit for those who qualify and have three or more dependent children will increase to $6,935 in 2022. It increases to $6,164 if you have two children, $3,733 if you have a child, and $560 if you have none.

The Child Tax Credit

The child tax credit amount is not adjusted for inflation but rather the portion of the credit that can be claimed as a tax refund. In 2022, that figure is $1,500.

Savings Limits

Inflation-adjusted limits also apply to the amounts you can save for different pension plans and other advantageous savings plans and exclude these tax contributions.

By 2022, you can contribute up to $2,850 to a Flexible Spending Arrangement (also known as a Flexible Spending Account or FSA).

The contribution limit for 401(k), 403(b), 457, and savings plans will increase to $20,500 in 2022. Contributions to SIMPLE retirement accounts increase to $14,000. The contribution limits for Roth and traditional IRAs have not changed.

Estate and Gift Taxes 

Very large estates must pay federal property tax on the portion of their assets that exceeds certain limits, and those limits are also indexed to inflation. The first $12.06 million will be tax-exempt in 2022.

The federal gift tax applies to gifts you give to individuals (not charities) for a certain amount each year. This amount is known as an annual exclusion per person per year. It was set at $15,000 for a few years until 2021 but is $16,000 in 2022.


  • The IRS adjusts various tax provisions each year to keep pace with rising inflation.

  • The effects of inflation-related adjustments affect the income limits eligible for various tax exemptions, as well as the amount of the standard deduction and certain tax credits.

  • Tax rates do not change every year unless new changes in tax law come into effect, but in the income brackets to which they apply, so it is important to know where your income is each year.



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