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It's often said the only things certain in life are death and taxes – but this year, even taxes aren't a certainty.
At least not the specifics, thanks to Election 2012 and Taxmageddon 2013. Investors are left with more questions than answers.
Will the so-called Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled – or be extended? Will levies designed to help implement and pay for Obamacare go into effect – or will Republicans finally succeed in repealing the new healthcare program?
Will President Barack Obama view his re-election as a mandate to impose more new taxes to expand social programs, or will a newly-elected President Mitt Romney cut taxes in a bid to encourage renewed economic growth?
That's why it's important for investors to look at the range of possibilities relative to their current financial holdings and take precautionary actions where appropriate.
This special Money Morning series will examine a number of upcoming or proposed changes in tax laws and rates and suggest strategies to minimize their impact on your investments. Or better yet, take advantage of them if possible.
With Taxmageddon, Rates are Set to Rise
As it stands, there are more than two dozen tax-law changes scheduled to take effect in 2013. Some of them target nearly every single taxpayer while others are more narrowly focused on individuals, such as small business stockholders and home sellers.
Of most immediate concern to investors is the scheduled increase in tax rates on capital gains. Currently, the federal government recognizes three types of capital gains:
This relatively simple structure will become more complicated in 2013, for several reasons…