Many of the Bush-era tax cuts that were scheduled to sunset in 2010 have been extended to 2012.
This includes the extension of individual income tax rate cuts. Rather than revert back as scheduled to the rates of 15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent, the rates will remain "cut" at 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent until Dec. 31, 2012.
Additionally, higher-income earners will save more than $20 billion from the repeal of the phase out of the itemized deduction limitation and personal exemption phase out. For 2011, deductions can be itemized no matter what percentage of income they comprise.
Workers will pay two percent less in Social Security taxes during 2011. This applies to all individuals earning up to the taxable wage base of $106,800.
The maximum tax rate cap of 15 percent on qualified capital gains and dividends will continue through 2012. Without the Act, the maximum rate on capital gains would have risen to 20 percent and the rate on qualified dividends could have reached as high as 39.6 percent.
The Act makes estate and gift tax limits portable between couples. This means that if one spouse does not use his or her limit, the other spouse can use it. Gift-givers pay no tax on gifts of $13,000 or less ($26,000 for married couples) to any one person, with a lifetime limit of $5 million - up from $1 million last year.
The Act also extends the ability for people age 70 ½ or older to exclude from gross income up to $100,000 of qualified charitable distributions.
To learn more, visit http://www.irs.gov and/or talk to a tax professional.
Contact Mike Edwards, LUTCF at (720) 858-6289 for more information.
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