What Happens if the Bush Tax Cuts Expire?

These legislative initiatives created six tax brackets and cut taxes across the board for earned income, long-term capital gains and dividends. They also increased the child tax credit, eliminated the “marriage penalty” as well as many other changes, exemptions and adjustments to the tax code.

How soon could you see the impact if Congress does nothing? You could see it as early as January when your employer starts withholding more taxes from your paycheck. Any taxable income earned in which you are having federal taxes withheld prior to distribution, could be impacted.

Congress could address the tax cuts when they come back to Washington following the mid-term elections. But it is difficult to predict what the political environment will be in the Capital following this highly contested mid-term. It is unlikely that nothing will be done. Democrats and Republicans agree that the expiration of the current tax policy needs to be addressed. The question is whether or not they can come to a consensus on how to address it and for whom.

Most in Congress believe that increasing taxes during a recession will harm our chances for a continued recovery. However, there is still debate on how tax cuts across the board will impact the already stifling $1 trillion plus budget deficit.

Posted on November 1, 2010
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