CCH Releases New Tax Briefing on American Taxpayer Relief Act

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, recently published a new tax briefing on the provisions of the new legislation recently passed. Tax Briefing: American Taxpayer Relief Act takes a look at the impacts of the Act on taxpayers. CCH provides tax, accounting and audit information, software and services to tax, accounting and business professionals.

Under the American Taxpayer Relief Act, Bush-era tax rates will end for individuals with incomes over $400,000 and families with incomes over $450,000. Many tax extenders that have expired will be revived, such as the research tax credit and the American Opportunity Tax Credit. The Act also allows a maximum estate tax of 40 percent with a $5 million exclusion. The mandatory across-the-board spending cuts have also been delayed under the Act, which President Obama signed Wednesday night.

“The American Taxpayer Relief Act is nowhere close to the grand bargain once envisioned by the President and many lawmakers, but it’s a major plus for taxpayers that the 2001 and 2003 tax act changes have finally been made permanent after years of uncertainty,” said CCH Principal Federal Tax Analyst, Mark Luscombe, JD, LLM, CPA. “Effectively, it’s a stop-gap measure to prevent the onus of the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts from falling on middle income taxpayers. Congress must still address sequestration. And, Congress is likely to revisit tax policy and spending cuts when it tackles the expected increase on the nation’s debt limit in February.”

Other provisions of the American Taxpayer Relief Act include a higher tax rate for individuals and families with incomes above $400,000 and $450,000, respectively, as well as a 20 percent maximum capital gains tax. The Act did not extend the 2012 payroll tax holiday that reduced OASDI taxes from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent on earned income up to the Social Security wage base. This means that all wage earners and those that are self-employed will pay more in taxes.