What do you have at stake in the fiscal cliff?

Although we had hoped to give the fiscal cliff a wide birth, it appears more and more likely our political leaders will take us right to its edge (if not over it). There have been a lot of numbers thrown around as to what this would mean for most families, but it's been particularly difficult to find any hard estimates as to what a family actually has at stake.

To highlight exactly what the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff and allowing tax cuts to expire on all taxpayers would be, CreditCards.com recently released its Fiscal Cliff Calculator. This tool allows you to enter your income and exemptions, and it will show you your current estimated taxes and your projected taxes if the tax rates are raised.

According to CreditCards.com, those at the highest income brackets will face the largest tax hike in terms of dollars, but many lower income taxpayers would face the higher tax hike in percentage terms.

For example, a single person making $20,000 and having only himself as an exemption could see a $845 increase in his tax bill or nearly 45 percent more than the bill under current rates. Conversely, a family making $150,000 with four exemptions could see an increase of $6,769, which is about 25% more than current rates.

Whether we consider the impact in dollar terms or percentage terms, one thing for sure is that everyone has something at stake in the fiscal cliff.

About the Author
Michael McFarlin

Michael McFarlin joined Futures in 2010 after graduating summa cum laude from Trinity International University, where he majored in English/Communication. With the launch of the new web platform, Michael serves as web editor for the site and will continue to work on the magazine, where he focuses on the Markets and Trading 101 features. He also served as a member of the Wisconsin National Guard from 2007 to 2010. mmcfarlin@futuresmag.com

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