As the recession and bailout have pushed this year's federal budget deficit to an unheard-of $1.6 trillion, an unpleasant reality has dawned: Taxes are going up. The only questions are when, how much, and for whom?See also: Barack Obama's Tax Policies
The answers depend on the shifting sands of wealth politics and the scope of health-care revision. "But everybody thinks that by 2011 tax rates will be higher, at least for those with higher incomes," says Thomas Ochsenschlager, a tax official at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
This certainty turns traditional tax-planning logic upside-down. Taxpayers have long been advised to defer taxes as long as possible, especially by making contributions to tax-sheltered IRAs and 401(k)s or holding assets for years in order to postpone realizing gains.
Now taxpayers should reconsider this rule. The current top capital-gains rate of 15% on most assets is the lowest in living memory and the Obama administration has proposed raising it to 20%. Another proposal might tack on a 4.5% surtax for the wealthiest taxpayers. So it may make sense to realize long-term gains now, says Robert Gordon, who advises clients on sophisticated tax matters at Twenty-First Securities in New York....
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Tax Increases Expected by 2011
Higher Taxes Are Coming. Are You Prepared? Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2009: