HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Key points in bill passed by Congress to avert US fiscal cliff

Reuters  New Delhi, January 02, 2013
First Published: 15:24 IST(2/1/2013) | Last Updated: 15:25 IST(2/1/2013)

The US 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:


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

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

* 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%  up from the current top rate of 35%.

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

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

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

* 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% bonus depreciation for one year.

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

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