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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Full title An act to extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 and 2003, and to provide for expedited consideration of a bill providing for comprehensive tax reform, and for other purposes.
Enacted by the 112th United States Congress
Legislative history
Introduced in the House as the "Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act of 2012" (H.R. 8) by Dave Camp (R–MI) on July 24, 2012
Committee consideration by: Ways and Means
Passed the House on August 1, 2012 (256–171)
Passed the Senate as the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012" on January 1, 2013 (89–8) with amendment
House agreed to Senate amendment on January 1, 2013 (257–167)
Signed into law by President Barack Obama (pending) on ???
v t e
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013, and is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The Act centers on a partial resolution to the United States fiscal cliff by addressing the expiration of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.
Contents [hide] 
1 Provisions
2 Legislative history
3 References
4 External links

The bill has the following provisions:[1][2][3]
Marginal income and capital gains tax rates would increase relative to their 2012 levels for those with annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, but the rates below these levels would remain at their 2012 levels. The income rate would increase from 35% to 39.6%, and capital gains rate would increase from 15% to 20%.
A phase-out of tax deductions and credits for incomes over $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples would be reinstated. Limits on deductions had existed before the Bush tax cuts, and had disappeared in 2010.
Estate taxes would be set at 40% of the value above $5,000,000, an increase from the 2012 rate of 35% of the value over $5,120,000.
Changes would be made to the alternative minimum tax to permanently index it to inflation and thus avoid the annual "patch" that was required to prevent it from impacting middle-class families.
The two-year old cut to payroll taxes would expire.
Federal unemployment benefits would be extended for a year without a budget offset elsewhere, a cost of $30 billion.
Some tax credits for poorer families would be extended for five years, including ones for college tuition and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
The Medicare doc fix would be extended for one year.
A pay freeze for members of Congress was extended, but the general pay freeze for government workers was not.
Some portions of the farm bill that had expired in September would be extended for nine months, but without changes supported by dairy farmers and legislators.
The budget sequestration created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 would be delayed by two months, to give time for further negotiations on deficit reduction. The $24 billion cost would be offset by tax increases, as well as a provision allowing 401(k) accounts to be rolled over into Roth IRA plans, requiring taxes to be paid on the assets.
A number of corporate tax breaks and loopholes would be extended, including the "active financing" tax exemption for major corporations (cost $9 billion[4]), a rum tax supporting Puerto Rico rum industry ($547 million in 2009), a tax benefit for NASCAR racetrack owners (around $43 million), tax credits for two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles and hiring of individuals who are members of a Native American tribe.[5][6]
In all, the bill included $600 billion over ten years in new tax revenue, about one-fifth of the revenue that would have been raised had no legislation been passed. This would be the first year-to-year income-tax rate increase since 1993. The new rates for income, capital gains, estates, and the alternative minimum tax would be made permanent.
[edit]Legislative history

The passage of the bill came after days of negotiations between Senate leaders and the Obama administration, with the final agreement being attributed to talks between Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.[7][8] Some Democrats criticized the bill for not raising taxes on the wealthy more, while Republicans criticized it for raising tax rates while not providing explicit spending cuts.[1][2] The final actions on the bill came during Congressional sessions on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
At around 2 a.m. on January 1, 2013, the Senate passed the bill, by a margin of 89–8.[2] 49 Democrats (and Democratic-caucusing Independents) and 40 Republicans voted in favor while 3 Democrats and 5 Republicans voted against.[7]
The prospect was raised that the House would pass an amended bill that included $300 billion in spending cuts.[7] But it was determined to be unlikely that the Senate would vote on any amended legislation before the end of the 112th Congress at noon on January 3, 2013 (all legislation under consideration expires at the end of each Congress), and failure to pass a bill and thus prolong the time over the cliff was seen as politically disadvantageous by the Republican leadership, and so the House moved towards a vote the same day.[9]
The House passed the bill without amendments by a margin of 257–167 at about 11 p. m. on January 1, 2013.[10] 85 Republicans and 172 Democrats voted in favor while 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats were opposed.[11][12]
Speaker of the House John Boehner voted for the bill, a break from the usual custom of the speaker not voting at all.[8] The House to bring the bill up at all was a break from the normal "Hastert rule" as well, in that a majority of the majority Republican caucus did not support it.[8]
The House's passage brought to a close what the Associated Press called "Congress' excruciating, extraordinary New Year's Day approval of a compromise averting a prolonged tumble off the fiscal cliff".[8] Minutes later, the president flew back to Hawaii to rejoin his family for their holiday vacation, which had been interrupted when he came back to Washington days earlier to oversee the fiscal cliff negotiations.[8] It was not clear whether he would sign the legislation with an autopen or whether it would be flown to Hawaii.[8]

^ a b Weisman, Jonathan (January 1, 2013). "Senate Passes Legislation to Allow Taxes on Affluent to Rise". The New York Times.
^ a b c Hook, Janet; Hughes, Siobhan (January 1, 2013). "Fiscal-Cliff Focus Moves to House". The Wall Street Journal.
^ Nixon, Ron (January 1, 2013). "Tax Bill Passed by Senate Includes Farm Bill Extension". The New York Times.
^ "'Active financing' exemption for some businesses to cost taxpayers $9 billion". The Washington Post.
^ "From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ deal". The Washington Post.
^ "Other nuggets in the fiscal cliff bill: Rum, electric vehicles and motor sports". CNN. January 1, 2013.
^ a b c Demirjian, Karoun (January 1, 2013). "It's over: House passes 'fiscal cliff' deal". Las Vegas Sun.
^ a b c d e f Fram, Alan (January 2, 2013). "Congress' OK of fiscal cliff deal gives Obama a win, prevents GOP blame for tax boosts". Star Tribune. Associated Press (Minneapolis).
^ "House Republicans drop plans to amend Senate cliff deal". CNN. January 1, 2013.
^ Steinhauer, Jennifer; Weisman, Jonathan (January 1, 2013). "House Nears Vote on Senate Deal, Despite Objections". The New York Times.
^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 659". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
^ Susan Ferrechio, Susan Ferrechio (January 1, 2013 | 10:59 pm). "House moves to avoid tumble over fiscal cliff". The Examiner Newspaper. Retrieved 2 January 2012.