Plus, there's a good chance many investors will miss the biggest dividend tax hit.
U.S. President Barack Obama, who earlier had suggested raising the dividend tax on those earning $250,000 or more, now says he wants to increase the tax on those earning $400,000 or more. Republicans have suggested raising the dividend tax on those earning $1 million or more.
Many investors wouldn't be affected by either proposal: Among Americans who receive qualified dividends - those taxed as capital gains, not regular income - 48% make less than $250,000 a year.
And there are some stocks that will be relatively immune to the fiscal cliff tax effects.
For those who will keep their money in dividends, we've highlighted some of the best picks among dividend-paying stocks for 2013, as well as some you'll want to avoid.