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Did Congress' fiscal cliff deal avert tax hikes? Read the fine print

Date: January 4, 2013
Type: Media Article

Source: BizJournals
Author: Galen Moore

As soon as the House and Senate hammered out an agreement avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, a list of spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect without a budget deal, journalists, economists and accountants began poring over the agreement, looking for loopholes.

ABC News found legislators had no trouble loading up the fiscal cliff compromise with nearly $100 billion in tax perks for favored industries – Hollywood, railroads, NASCAR and biofuels, to name a few.

The Wall Street Journal noted that while the compromise deal raises taxes on the 1 percent – families making more than $450,000 – limits on deductions would impose a de facto tax increase on a far greater number of households, with an income threshold of $250,000 to $300,000.

Even those making far less than $250,000 a year will see a tax increase. Boston.com pointed out that the fiscal cliff compromise allows a temporary, 2-percentage-point cut in payroll taxes to expire. “It’s going to hit everyone in the pocketbook,” Larry Dunivan, a senior vice president at payroll processor Ceridian Corp., told Boston.com.

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