“Cliff” deal raises estate tax to 40%

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The U.S. House of Representatives approved a Senate bill on Tuesday night to avert $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff." Here are details:

* Raises estate tax rate to 40 percent for estates of more than $10 million per couple, up from the current level of 35 percent.

* Raises $620 billion in revenue over 10 years through a series of tax increases on wealthier Americans.

* Postpones the first installment of automatic spending cuts for two months while Congress works on a plan to replace them.

* Permanently extends tax cuts enacted in 2001 under former Republican President George W. Bush for income below $400,000 per individual, or $450,000 per family. Income above that level would be taxed at 39.6 percent, up from the current top rate of 35 percent.

* Above that income threshold, capital gains and dividends tax rates would return to 20 percent, from 15 percent.

* Caps personal exemptions and itemized deductions for income above $250,000, or $300,000 per household.

* Includes a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.

* Extends unemployment insurance benefits for one year for 2 million people.

* Extends child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and tuition tax credit for five years.

* Extends research and experimentation tax credit, and the wind production tax credit through the end of 2013. Extends 50 percent bonus depreciation for one year.

* Avoids a cut in payments to doctors treating patients on Medicare - the "doc fix."


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