Taxpayers (and tax professionals) are facing a unique set of challenges as the November Presidential election approaches and end-of-the-year tax planning looms. If Congress and the White House fail to act by December 31st, favorable Bush-era tax cuts will expire, along with a variety of business and investment tax breaks, raising income tax rates to levels last seen in 2001.
Unfortunately, our current political and legislative environment only adds to the uncertainty as Republicans and Democrats are both hesitant to act until they know who will occupy the White House next year. This political gridlock combined with a fragile economy and the possibility of rising tax rates has been dubbed by many as Taxmageddon. So what does all this mean for taxpayers? How will the 2012 tax filing season be affected and what approach should taxpayers take for tax planning in 2013? Our best advice is to stay informed of the possible changes that may affect your business and your personal tax position.
Staying in the Know
Many favorable tax provisions expired at the end of 2011. Unless Congress acts and passes retroactive changes by December 31st, many taxpayers will be affected by the following expired provisions when filing their 2012 income tax returns. Historically, many of these temporary provisions have been extended, but this year there is no guarantee that Congress will take action in time.
- Increase in the alternative minimum tax exemption (AMT Patch),
- Deduction for state and local tax for itemized filers,
- Deduction for PMI (premium mortgage