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News & Politics News & Politics

Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM
  • 23 Replies

I know this is a month old but I just came across it.

Taxmageddon: Massive Tax Increase Coming in 2013

By 
April 4, 2012a and Congress fail to act this year, an enormous, unprecedented tax increase will fall on American taxpayers starting on January 1, 2013. The Washington Post called the looming tax increase “Taxmageddon,”[1] and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke called it a “massive fiscal cliff.”[2]

This impending tax increase is mostly the result of the expiration of many long-standing policies that all expire at the end of 2012. President Obama and Congress should start working together now to prevent this massive tax increase rather than waiting until the end of the year. That would assure families, businesses, and investors that their taxes will not rise sharply as the economy is still staggering to its feet and show the voters that Washington really can get important things done—even in an election year.

Taxmageddon Is Huge

Taxmageddon is a $494 billion tax increase that strikes at the beginning of 2013. Under current law, tax policies in seven different categories will expire, and five of the 18 new tax hikes from Obamacare will begin.

These tax hikes will raise $494 billion in 2013 but will remain in place unless President Obama and Congress stop them. Taxpayers would see even bigger tax hikes in succeeding years as the tax increases raise more revenue as the economy grows.

Although these tax increases will not start raising new revenue until next year, they are having a negative impact on the economy today. Families, businesses, and investors need to know how much tax they will pay in the future before making important economic decisions. The uncertainty caused by Taxmageddon means they are stuck in neutral while they wait for President Obama and Congress to act. This is slowing job creation and stopping many of the millions of unemployed Americans from going back to work.

A tax increase the size of Taxmageddon for just one year is simply unprecedented. Usually tax and budget policies are evaluated on estimates over 10 years. A 10-year tax increase of Taxmageddon’s magnitude would be off the charts. By comparison, all the tax increases in Obamacare—itself an enormous tax increase—raise $502 billion over 10 years, which is almost as much as Taxmageddon will increase taxes just in 2013.

Taxmageddon’s Sources

Almost 34 percent of the tax increase from Taxmageddon comes from the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. These cuts are best known for reducing marginal income tax rates, but they also reduced the marriage penalty, increased the Child Tax Credit and the adoption credit, and increased tax breaks for education costs and dependent care costs.

 Tax relief

Another 25 percent of Taxmageddon comes from the expiration of the once-temporary payroll tax cut. The expiration of the patch on the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)—which would raise the income threshold over which families qualify for the AMT to prevent middle-income families from paying this tax that is only supposed to impact “the rich”—accounts for 24 percent of the total potential 2013 tax increase.

The remaining tax increases come in part from Obamacare, notably the start of the Hospital Insurance 3.8 percent surtax on wages and salaries over $250,000 and investment income over that amount. This is the most economically damaging tax in the law and the one that raises the most revenue.

Then there is the expiration of the tax cuts contained in the 2009 stimulus and the expiration of the “tax extenders,” a group of about 50 tax policies that are regularly renewed for a year or two. The current policy on the death tax also expires in 2013. That means the rate will rise from 35 percent today to 55 percent and the exemption will fall from $5 million to $3.5 million.[3] The expiration of full expensing of new business capital investments (deducting the full cost at the time of purchase) rounds out Taxmageddon.

Table 1 lists the revenue each category of tax hikes would raise just in 2013. The appendix lists each separate tax policy that falls under each category that expires or begins in 2013.

Act Soon

Congress and President Obama have developed a penchant for waiting until the very last minute to act on pressing tax legislation. In 2010, they waited until late December to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for two years. At the end of 2011, they waited again until late December to extend the expiring payroll tax holiday. They should break themselves of this bad habit.

Instead, Obama and Congress should remove the uncertainty clouding jobs and family finances by removing the threat of Taxmageddon now. Businesses, families, and investors need to know as soon as possible that this massive tax increase will not hit them as they awaken on New Year’s Day 2013.

Curtis S. Dubay is a Senior Analyst in Tax Policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Appendix: Breakdown of Taxmageddon

by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM
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Replies (1-10):
UpSheRises
by on Jun. 18, 2012 at 9:29 PM
2 moms liked this

President Obama doesn't need to act...congress does.

rocketracer
by Gold Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Well, if anyone doesn't know this about their FLEX spending contribution.....The maximum amount  to contribute has been reduced from $5000 to $2500....FLEX $$$ reduces your taxable income....this all means the gov't can tax $2500 more of your income.....Just another "Thank you, sir, May I have another" moment bought to you by your gov't.

sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jun. 18, 2012 at 11:20 PM
1 mom liked this
Not a tax increase

The expiration of temporary tax cuts that have been carried on too long..

Carry on
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Jun. 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM
It's gonna hurt but it needs to happen
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Mommy_of_Riley
by Just Jess on Jun. 19, 2012 at 12:05 AM
After 11 years....


It's a tax increase


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Not a tax increase



The expiration of temporary tax cuts that have been carried on too long..



Carry on
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_Kissy_
by on Jun. 19, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Just taking back what was already there and what sustained America before the favoring of a few select people. They've had long enough to hoard.
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sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jun. 19, 2012 at 6:39 AM
No it's not.

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

After 11 years....





It's a tax increase




Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Not a tax increase





The expiration of temporary tax cuts that have been carried on too long..





Carry on
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Carpy
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2012 at 6:52 AM
It's a tax increase.
Kate_Momof3
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2012 at 7:31 AM

Taxmageddon? Seriously? Leave it to Heritage to come up with that classy hyperbole.

It's a tax increase. A well-deserved, long overdue tax increase.

rocketracer
by Gold Member on Jun. 19, 2012 at 7:55 AM
1 mom liked this

This will affect people making less than 250K.  The middle class will take a hit.

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