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Here’s a Handy Calculator for Your 2013 Taxes

Confused about the new tax act? So were we, so we checked in with some money managers and accountants to sort it out.

Practically speaking, all working Americans’ taxes will rise in 2013 because  the payroll tax holiday of the last two years ended. In 2013, the payroll tax  rate returns to its old level and employees will pay 6.2 percent in Social  Security taxes rather than the lower 4.2 percent. This tax break saved a worker  making $50,000 annually about $1,000 last year, according to Edward Kohlhepp of  Kohlhepp Investment Advisors in Doylestown.

So beyond that, how much more or less will we owe in 2013?

Hat tip to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington for this handy calculator: http://calculator2.taxpolicycenter.org/index.cfm.  Using this, I got an estimate of what my taxes would be for 2013 versus 2012  based on being married filing jointly and calculated a quick number (It was higher. Loud boo!!).

There will be no new tax on municipal bonds, as was rumored, and that  prompted a sigh of relief among investors in munis.

James Colby, portfolio manager with Market Vectors ETFs, took note of the New  Year’s rally in the equity markets and simultaneous sell-off in Treasuries by  investors who had sought safety in bonds while awaiting the outcome of Congress’  deliberations.

But what needs to happen “is a response from business that reflects both  relief and confidence in the stimulus. Business may need to see how more  revenues will be raised and what programs may be pushed over the cliff before  employment increases and GDP can rise. With higher taxes coming for many  Americans, I believe the tax-free coupon makes munis all the more desirable,”  said Colby, who helps oversee more than $2.1 billion in municipal bond  exchange-traded funds, which includes the Market Vectors High-Yield Municipal  Index ETF (symbol: HYD).

Capital gains

The tax rate on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends for  individuals above the top income tax bracket rises from 15 percent to 20 percent  effective Jan. 1. It applies to those with incomes above $450,000 (joint) or  $400,000 (single). The 15 percent rate is retained for taxpayers in the middle  brackets while the zero rate is preserved for those in the 10 percent and 15  percent brackets.

See a handy table of the new tax rates at the website of accountants Marcum  L.L.P.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we’ve included a handy table of the changes (http://www.marcumllp.com/news-and-events/tax-flash-the-american-taxpayer-relief-act-of-2012-fiscal-cliff-disaster-averted ).

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