Tax season, by the numbers

Here are some key numbers you should know about when filing your 2012 tax returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service:

Personal exemption: Each personal or dependent exemption is worth $3,800.

Standard deduction:$11,900 for married couples filing a joint return and for qualifying widows and widowers; $5,950 for singles and married individuals filing separate returns; $8,700 for heads of household. Those 65 or older or blind may be eligible for a higher standard deduction.


Alternative minimum tax threshold: $78,750 for a married couple filing a joint return and for qualifying widows and widowers; $50,600 for singles and heads of household.

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Income tax brackets: 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, 35 percent

Earned income tax credit: To qualify, income can be no greater than:

—$45,060 ($50,270 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children

—$41,952 ($47,162 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children


—$36,920 ($42,130 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child

—$13,980 ($19,190 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children

Investment income cannot be more than $3,200 for the year.

Maximum credit:

—$5,891 with three or more qualifying children


—$5,236 with two qualifying children

—$3,169 with one qualifying child

—$475 with no qualifying children

Capital gains: 0 percent if taxpayer is in the 10 percent or 15 percent income tax brackets; 15 percent top rate if taxed in higher brackets.

Estate tax: Top rate of 35 percent in 2012, with first $5.12 million in value exempted for individual estates and $10.24 million for family estates.

IRA contributions: Traditional IRA limit is $5,000; additional contribution of $1,000 allowed for over age 50.

Deferred retirement accounts

— 401(k), 403(b),: $17,000

—Additional contribution if 50 or older: $5,500

Standard mileage rates: Business, 55.5 cents a mile; medical or qualified move, 23 cents; charitable, 14 cents.