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The Nitty Gritty of the Fiscal Cliff Deal

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

As you all know, Congress approved legislation on Tuesday to avert the fiscal cliff crisis. Here is a summary of that legislation as published in the Chicago Tribune.

Reuters, January 2, 2013—The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Senate bill on Tuesday night to avert $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the “fiscal cliff.” Here are details:

Postpones the first installment of automatic spending cuts for two months while Congress works on a plan replace them.

Raises $620 billion in revenue over 10 years through a series of tax increases on wealthier Americans.

Permanently extends tax cuts enacted in 2001 under former Republican President George W. Bush for income below $400,000 per individual, or $450,000 per family. Income above that level would be taxed at 39.6 percent, up from the current top rate of 35 percent.

Above that income threshold, capital gains and dividends tax rates would return to 20 percent, from 15 percent.

Caps personal exemptions and itemized deductions for income above $250,000, or $300,000 per household.

Raises estate tax rate to 40 percent for estates of more than $10 million per couple, up from the current level of 35 percent.

Includes a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

Extends unemployment insurance benefits for one year for 2 million people.

Extends child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and tuition tax credit for five years.

Extends research and experimentation tax credit, and the wind production tax credit through the end of 2013. Extends 50 percent bonus depreciation for one year.

Avoids a cut in payments to doctors treating patients on Medicare – the “doc fix.”

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