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AMT

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2012 Taxpayer Relief Act Changes to Alternative Minimum Tax

As you know, the alternative minimum tax (AMT) traps more middle income taxpayers every year. To partially alleviate this tax burden, Congress has been enacting annual “patches” to the AMT to increase exemption amounts. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (2012 Taxpayer Relief Act) provides immediate relief for the AMT by permanently increasing the AMT exemption amounts retroactive to the 2012 tax year. Beginning in 2013, these base AMT exemption amounts will be adjusted annually for inflation.

For 2012, the exemption amounts are increased to $78,750 for married couples filing jointly and surviving spouses, $50,600 for single taxpayers and heads of households, and $39,375 for married individuals filing separately.

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2012 Taxpayer Relief Act For Business & Investments

After weeks of negotiation, Congress has passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act to avert the tax side of the “Fiscal Cliff” and bring some certainty to the Tax Code. Almost all taxpayers are affected by the numerous extensions and modifications. Many popular but temporary tax extenders relating to businesses are included in the American Taxpayer Relief Act. Among them is Code Sec. 179 small business expensing, bonus depreciation, the research tax credit, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This letter provides some highlights of the American Taxpayer Relief Act as it applies to investments and business taxpayers.

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2012 Taxpayer Relief Act For Individuals

Fiscal Cliff Averted, Tax Payer Relief Act

After much debate and anticipation, Congress has passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 which averts the tax side of the fiscal cliff, provides numerous extenders and avoids the automatic sunset provisions that were scheduled to take effect after 2012 under the “Bush-era” tax cuts in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA<) and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA<).

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2012 Year End Tax Planning for Individuals

Individual Tax Planning in 2012 & 2013

Year-end tax planning is always complicated by the uncertainty that the following year may bring. Even with the election behind us, 2012 is one of the most challenging in recent memory for year-end tax planning. A combination of events – including possible expiration of some or all of the “Bush-era” tax cuts after 2012, the imposition of new so-called Medicare taxes on investment and wages, doubts about renewal of tax extenders, and the threat of massive across-the-board federal spending cuts – have many taxpayers asking how can they prepare for 2013 and beyond, and what to do before then. The short answer is to quickly become familiar with expiring tax incentives and what may replace them after 2012 and to plan accordingly.

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Proposed Regulations on Net Investment Income Tax and Additional Medicare Tax

The IRS has issued long-awaited and much needed proposed reliance regulations on the operation of the two new surtaxes imposed under the 2010 healthcare legislation: the 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax (NIIT), and the 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax. Both surtaxes are scheduled to come into full effect on January 1, 2013. The proposed reliance regulations and the frequently asked questions on the IRS website attempt to address many of the gaps in the application of these surtaxes that have been questioned by tax professionals, employers, and taxpayers. The guidance on each of these surtaxes is extensive and is immediately critical for affected taxpayers.

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Sunsetting of Bush-Era Tax Cuts

Sunset-Provision-Bush-Tax-Cuts

More election year uncertainty: 2012 began with the fate of the “Bush-era tax cuts” unsettled, and no resolution appears in sight. Rather than just waiting for Congress to act, you should consider implementing certain protective tax strategies now. To maximize benefits, advance planning that considers a number of “what ifs” should be undertaken soon. With budget pressures looming, the likelihood that EGTRRA< and JGTRRA< expiring provisions will be rolled over for one or two more years into 2013 and 2014 is highly unlikely. Therefore, a strategy that accelerates into 2012 whatever tax benefits are currently available deserves careful consideration.

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