Publication Date

Spring 8-1-2023


Despite overwhelming support for standard deductions, some scholars are yet to be convinced that the claims of tax progressiveness and simplification are occurring simultaneously. Both roles are conflicting and facilitate complexity, as all the standard deduction has done is establish a floor that restricts itemization, to phase out the latter alternative. However, the standard deduction has its limitations, as there are filing restrictions and the taxpayer might not receive reduced deductions. For example, for married couples, if the spouse of a taxpayer itemizes his or her deductions, the other spouse would not be able to opt for the standard deduction. Non-resident and some dual-status aliens and those filing for periods under a year are also at a disadvantage, as they would not qualify for the standard deduction.

Depending on the type of deductible expenses, the standard deduction amount may be less if the taxpayer had chosen to itemize, as there may be expenses that are greater in amounts than that allowed under the standard deduction option. Currently, there is an ongoing debate on whether TCJA was specifically designed to benefit both the poor and rich taxpayers while simultaneously offering no assistance to the middle-class taxpayers, contrary to the claims made by President Trump. Therefore, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 is the biggest overhaul of the United States’ current federal income taxation system and its provisions are now entrenched into U.S. taxation law.