Employer health subsidy
As we head into a presidential election year, this subsidy will be a key topic in the broader discussion of health care reform.
Under the current tax exemption for employer-sponsored health insurance, your employer's portion of your health premium is tax-exempt. If, however, the subsidy is axed and your employer instead gives you a raise to cover those health costs, you'll have a higher taxable income or a higher tax bill, Gleckman said.
A deduction of up to $4,000 for qualified education expenses expires at the end of 2011. All or part of the amount you pay can be for classes beginning in 2012, Inman News reports. But you must make your payments in 2011.
More broadly, Obama's $467 billion in tax increases announced in September includes caps on tax deductions. The plan targets tax preferences, including those for savings accounts for higher education and health expenses.
However, many other tax credits, deductions and savings plans are still available for taxpayers to help with the expense of higher education. For more details, visit the Internal Revenue Service's education information center.
Transit commuter benefit
In November, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to renew the federal mass-transit tax break. Many large employers offer transit-benefit programs that allow workers to set aside up to $230 a month of their salaries for mass-transit costs. The money is exempt from federal, state and city income taxes.
Schumer has introduced a bill to make the $230-per-month benefit permanent, The Associated Press reports. The latest extension of the benefit expires Dec. 31.
Mortgage interest deduction
To be clear, a Dec. 31 deadline is not approaching for this deduction. But with the housing market still weak, debate about how the U.S. government can support the housing market will continue into 2012.
Interest paid on a mortgage is tax-deductible if itemized. Roughly a quarter of all tax filers claim this popular tax deduction.
State sales tax deduction
The state sales tax deduction is scheduled to expire at the end of 2011.
This is a valuable tax break for residents of states without income tax -- Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
The timing of this deduction's end could wreak havoc on state and local budgets. They're already facing uncertainty about how much federal money they will get. Meanwhile, the weak economy and volatile stock market have lowered returns on state and local investments and will possibly cut income tax revenue. Adjusted for inflation, state and local revenues are below 2008 levels, said the TaxVox blog's Kim Rueben. Stay tuned.
Internet sales tax, use tax
While there's no looming Dec. 31 deadline related to sales tax, this tax issue made our list because it will continue to be newsy into 2012. Amazon.com has agreed to start collecting sales tax from its California customers in September 2012 unless there's federal legislation on the matter, The New York Times reports.
As bricks-and-mortar stores struggle, legislatures beyond California have seized on the sales tax issue. Meanwhile, most states now have a use tax that requires consumers to pay taxes every April that retailers did not collect, although taxpayers rarely do so, said the Urban Institute's Gleckman.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Many want to tax the rich at higher rates, but they ignore the fact that the top 1% income earners are already paying an increasingly greater share of the taxes collected, over 40% of all taxes collected in 2007 compared to 25% in 1987-1991. This tread is still growing, with the wealthy loosing tax credits the working class gets to take freely. The bottom 95% are paying a quickly shrinking share of the taxes.
Stop the real waste! Republicans are destroying America to "Starve the beast" to deny government programs proper funding because they don't want to pay taxes! But this "beast" has a name: America!
The rich and their paid-for congress will let your family be foreclosed upon and bankrupted, just to make President Obama look bad!
It is a disgrace! TAKE THE PLEDGE: 2012 I will vote for ANYONE BUT A REPUBLICAN! (ABAR!)
In order to understand what is taking place in America many would benefit from a bit more enlightened perspective. This is not just about politics, the very future of America is at stake.
Consider the facts:
Obama’s staunchest supporters, Progressives for Obama, is “a Who’s Who of 60s radicals” that were forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. His core values were formed by a close relationship with communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis. Socialist, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., also influenced his current world view. When placed in perspective with an “almost criminally negligent” handling of American fiscal policy, one begins wonder if there is an agenda at work.
Any American with even a scintilla of intellectual acumen must recognize that Obama and his democratic cronies have ridden roughshod over the most reckless fiscal policy in the history of this nation. That criminal rate of debt increase is 350% worse than the Bush record and is destined to create the most devastating economic Tsunami in the history of the industrialized world! However, what I find truly surprising is the blindly ignorant rhetoric of his democratic constituents.
Can you afford more of this?
• Jobs: The president has presided over the loss of 2.2 million jobs.
• Debt: Obama has increased taxpayer debt by $5.2 trillion. Every day, the nation runs a deficit of $4.2 billion, 350% worse than the Bush record
• Foreclosure and Bankruptcy: 2.4 million homes have been foreclosed on. Homeowners and businesses have declared 4 million bankruptcies.
• The Stimulus: Obama promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. He came up 7.3 million jobs short of his goal, according to the Heritage Foundation.
• Healthcare: Obamacare did not reduce healthcare costs as promised and is in fact responsible for increasing costs in 2011. Health insurance premiums are up 13 percent.
• Poverty: Obama policies have pushed 3 million more Americans into poverty than were there before he took office! He has done more damage to his own people than any president in modern history!
Politics aside, only the most economically ignorant of Americans could stand back and support Obama the democratic party's handling of the economy. Monetizing of this debt will create a hyperinflation certain to destroy the economic stability of virtually every household in America. This next election will be the most important in the history of our nation!
If Obama and the democrats remain in power, the resulting economic apocalypse will make the economic devastation in Greece pale in comparison. STOP OBAMA NOW! While 4 more years of Obama would destroy this country, my only comment to the Republicans would be that they must be willing to increase tax rates on those earning over $500,000 per year!!!
Just a few tax facts for those that feel they are middle class & paying moretaxes then "the Rich".
90% of all income taxes are paid by the top 10% wage earners.
Look it up, federal reports bare this out. So, no you are not.
By the way, half the country pays nothing, or gets a working credit.
Equal opprotunity for all does not gaurentee equal effort & accomplishment.
Obama and the Dems are far from perfect, but they are much better than any in the Rep/teaparty!
Capital gains should be taxed as income, PERIOD! The lower class and middle class should pay far less tax as a percentage of their income as the wealthy!
Why? Simple. The rich can afford it! Also, the rich benefit the most from our society therefore they bear the larger share of the responsibility for maintaining our society.
I keep reading how the rich should not be punished for being smarter, or working hard, blah blah blah. Well, there is no doubt that some of the wealthy are very smart and work hard but the truth is that most of them are just lucky. Furthermore, the rich can't have what they have without the rest of us at the bottom. The lives of the 99% are what allow the wealthy to be wealthy.
Worked for 45 years and paid taxes the whole time. When I started working I had no kids or a home and didn't make 12 G,s a year and uncle sam took his share. The only credit I get now is the mortgage credit. If I were wealthy, I wouldn't give a **** because I would have a home that was paid for when I bought it. This is the dumbacrap way of sticking it to the middle class some more. Even Nasty Pisslosi said the mortgage deduction is a loophole that should be eliminated. That's right, I said Dumbacraps. Middle class people can't pay cash for a home like the wealthy like Pisslosi (with all the government contracts her and her husband enjoy. Pisslosi has been getting very wealthy by cheating the tax payers). Just another way for the DUMBACRAPS to keep the people down to secure their votes and to stick it to the middle class that do pay taxes
VOTE DEM OUT IN 2012
Let's be clear, the reason our Great Country is in finacial trouble is because the Republican tax system can not support the government democrats want.
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