Saturday, September 1, 2012
Weekend Wall Street Journal Tax Report: Countdown to a Tax Hike, by Laura Saunders:
The tax code is in flux—and taxpayers should prepare for a wild ride.
The best advice, experts say: make a few important moves now, and be ready to react quickly in the months ahead. ...
Experts foresee two possible outcomes. One is that after the election both houses of Congress agree to extend the current rules for up to a year, buying time to make fundamental changes to the tax code while avoiding the economic consequences of huge tax increases. The other possibility is that the election changes the political equation so much that one party blocks a tax-rate extension, allowing the current rules to expire and pushing tough decisions into 2013. ...
So how should you prepare for the uncertain months ahead? Tax experts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal offered several dos and don'ts:
- Do consider the effect of higher taxes on investment returns next year
- Don't rush to take all of your capital gains
- Do consider whether to accelerate Roth IRA conversions
- Don't count on an extension of this year's Social Security tax cut
- Do expect an AMT "patch" for 2012
- Don't take money from your IRA if you are 70½ or older and want to donate money from it
- Do prepare for the possibility of less-generous gift- and estate-tax rates and exemptions after 2012