While taxpayers don't face tumultuous tax law change this filing season, they will get new personal exemptions and standard deductions.
Courtesy of annual inflation adjustments, this year's standard deduction is $4,400 for a single taxpayer, $7,350 for a married couple filing jointly. The personal exemption amount is $50 more than last year at $2,800, subject to limits for some higher-income people.
There are also changes in the income thresholds to determine if someone must file a tax return at all. The IRS requires taxpayers to file a return if their gross annual income is at least $7,200 for a single person, $12,850 for a married couple filing jointly. Different amounts apply to people age 65 or over.
Other highlights of what's new this year:
People can choose their own PIN numbers to file returns electronically, eliminating the need for a separate paper signature form.
Taxpayers can check a box on the 1040 form to authorize the IRS to discuss any processing problems directly with a paid preparer.
Taxpayers can now deduct up to 32 1/2 cents per mile for business mileage in 2000.