Income Tax Relief
The 2012 federal income tax rates have been extended permanently for singles with annual income below $400,000 and married couples with less than $450,000 of income. For taxpayers above those thresholds, the maximum tax rate is rising from 35 to 39.6%.
The tax treatment of investments also will be split at those same levels. Americans with income below those marks will continue to pay taxes on capital gains and qualified dividends at a maximum 15% rate. Higher-income Americans will face a higher 20% tax rate on capital gains and dividends. And, when factoring in a new 3.8% health care tax on investment income, the top rate actually rises to 23.8%.
Limits on Personal Exemptions and Deductions
In 2013, single taxpayers with income above $250,000, and married taxpayers with joint income above $300,000, will see their ability to claim personal exemptions and itemized deductions either reduced or eliminated, depending on how high their income is. Personal exemptions reduce taxable income and are expected to be valued at $3,900 per person in 2013. That value will shrink or disappear for taxpayers with income above the new limits.
Lasting Patch for the Alternative Minimum Tax
The Alternative Minimum Tax was created to prevent the wealthiest Americans from using maneuvers to avoid paying taxes. However, since it wasn't designed to reflect inflation, Congress has had to create a series of "patches" to prevent it from hitting the middle class. The deal replaced those periodic patches with a long-term fix that also reaches back to cover 2012.
Estate Tax Adjustment
In 2012, only those estates worth more than $5.12 million were subject to federal estate taxes, at a maximum rate of 35%. In 2013, the exemption will remain at that amount, but the maximum tax rate is climbing to 40%. The new law also makes permanent the ability of spouses to use any amount of the tax exemption that wasn't used by their deceased spouse — giving married couples the power to shelter more than $10 million in combined assets.
End of the Payroll Tax Holiday
While the new law generally guards most Americans from a 2013 tax increase, there's an exception: The two-year discount on payroll taxes has ended. This means your Social Security tax rate will jump from 4.2 to 6.2%. If you're self-employed, the rate goes from 10.4 to 12.4%.
quote:Taxes are a function of the tax rate and the tax base. The tax rate was increased by 47%, but the tax base only extends to $113,700. So the revenue increase is 47% on the first $113,700, but there was zero increase on income above that. Thus the increase in tax revenue will be less than 47%. Don't let the % fool you as to the total economic effect as it can also be misleading.
It went from 4.2 to 6.2 which is a 47% increase. Don't let the fact that the "unit of measure" is % fool you. It went up 47%
Taxes are a function of the tax rate and the tax base. The tax rate was increased by 47%, but the tax base only extends to $113,700. So the revenue increase is 47% on the first $113,700, but there was zero increase on income above that. Thus the increase in tax revenue will be less than 47%. Don't let the % fool you as to the total economic effect as it can also be misleading.
quote:The perfect storm of Social Security tax increase. You take it from the increases in both the rate and the tax base. I should have mentioned those unfortunate taxpayers who should be a narrow slice, but still deserved having their increased burden mentioned. I focused on the fact that income in excess of $113,700 is exempt from Social Security tax, and it greatly exceeds the amount of money in the $110,100 - $113,700 range.
Let's say I made over $110,000 last year and maxed out my SS contributions at $4,624.20 and this year will max out at $7,049.40. That increases my contributions by 52%. Not everyone will be hit that hard but that's a pretty substantial increase from last year to this year for the people making $113,700.
quote:Can you imagine the reaction if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire for all taxpayers? The Republicans missed an opportunity to give the public an object lesson about the so-called tax cuts for the rich. They should have held out for one payroll cycle before agreeing to a deal. Then the Republicans could have said we were the ones who gave you those tax cuts, and the Democrats fought against them. We tried to make them permanent, and the Democrats prevented that.
People sure forget quickly that they were able to benefit from DECREASED SS withholdings for two years.
Sure people forget fast, especially when all the money is going towards a pointless endeavor.