Cliff Diving Averted

January 2, 2013

Authored by: Stephanie Moll and Matthew C. Jessee

Effective December 31, 2012, Congress passed The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 which, in part, sets the following policies.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law, although he has not said when.  More detailed analysis of the new law to come.

Tax Policy:

· Marginal Rates: Permanent extension of current policy up to $400,000 for singles, $450,000 for married couples.

· Capital Gains & Dividends: Permanent: 15% top capital gains and dividends rate up to $400k (singles), $450k (married); 20% rate for both above threshold.

 · Death Tax: Permanent extension of current policy on portability and unification with a $5M exemption indexed for inflation and a 40% top rate.

· PEP & Pease: Permanent relief from PEP & Pease under $250,000 (single), $300,000 (married).

· AMT: Permanently index AMT for inflation.

· Tax Extenders: Adopts package reported by Finance Committee in 2012, with a 2 year extension through 2013.

· Temporary Payroll Tax Cut: Allowed to expire.

· Bonus Depreciation: 1 year extension of 50% Bonus Depreciation.

· Stimulus Tax Credits: 5 year extension.

· Deduction Cap: There is no cap on deductions.

Spending Policy

· Debt Limit: No increase in the debt limit — remains at $16.394 trillion.

· Sequester: sequester is turned off for two months and paid for with a reduction in discretionary spending cap for 2013 and 2014, and expanding eligibility for Roth conversion.

· CLASS Act: CLASS Act entitlement repealed.

· Doc Fix: 1 year extension paid for by reducing Medicare spending.

· Unemployment Insurance: 1 year extension of current extended weeks of UI.

· Farm Bill: Provides for a one year extension of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 at no additional cost to the taxpayer.