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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

General

After a long and difficult negotiation process over the last several months, Congress finally passed extender legislation that allowed the nation to avert the fiscal cliff. The Senate and House of Representatives each approved H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act, on January 1, 2013. The President has subsequently signed the bill into law.

Summary of provisions

  • Income tax rates go from 35% to 39.6% for individuals earning more than $400,000 ($450,000 for joint filers, $425,000 for heads of household);
  • The 2% payroll tax cut has been allowed to expire;
  • The alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch (higher exemption amounts and personal credits allowed to offset regular tax and AMT) has been made permanent;
  • Dividend and capital gain rates increase from 15% to 20% for individuals making at least $400,000 ($450,000 for joint returns);
  • The Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) is now reinstated at threshold levels of $300,000 for joint filers and surviving spouses; $275,000 for heads of household; $250,000 for single filers; and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing separately;


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