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  • Writer's pictureTRS CPA


2010 TAX ACT: TAX RELIEF, UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE REAUTHORIZATION AND JOB CREATION ACT OF 2010 Here are highlights of the tax changes in the 2010 Tax Act: Major Provisions

  • two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts

  • reduction of estate tax

  • extension of unemployment benefits

  • alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch

  • extension through 2012 of the lower capital gains tax rate introduced in 2003

  • two-year extension of the repeal of the itemized deduction phase-out and the personal exemption phase-out

Bush tax cuts referred to above includes lowering of individual income tax rates from 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% and 39.6% to 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%; a doubling of the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000; a gradual reduction in estate taxes that was to be reinstated in 2011; a cut in top capital gains rate from 20% to 15%; and a cut in the top individual rate on dividends from 35% to 15% (in the lowest two tax brackets, the dividend rate is 0%. Estate tax reinstated at a rate of 35% and an exemption of $5 million (adjusted for inflation after 2011). AMT patch. For 2010, the AMT exemption amounts are $47,450 for unmarried individuals and $72,450 for married individuals filing jointly. For 2011, the amounts will be $48,450 and $74,450, respectively. Social Security tax reduced 2% for employees. For 2011, the Act reduces the rate for the Social Security portion of payroll taxes to 10.4% by reducing the employee rate from 6.2% to 4.2%. -Standard deduction, increased for married taxpayers filing jointly, continues for two years. Child and dependent care credit amount of $3,000 (which was scheduled to revert to $2,400) continues for two years. Gift tax exemption is increased to $5 million for 2011, and 2012, up from $1 million in 2010.. -Depreciation. The Act extends and temporarily increases additional first-year depreciation provisions for investment in new business equipment. For investments placed in service after September 8, 2010 and through December 31, 2011 (through December 31, 2012 for certain longer-lived and transportation property), the new law provides for 100% additional first-year depreciation, without limit. 50% additional first-year depreciation will apply again in 2012. Also beginning in 2012, a taxpayer will be allowed to write off up to $125,000 of capital expenditures subject to a gradual reduction after expenditures reach $500,000. In 2010 and 2011, the maximum expensing amount is $500,000 with phaseouts beginning after $2,000,000 in purchases. For tax years beginning after 2012, the maximum expensing amount will drop to $25,000 and phaseout level will drop to $200,000. Generally, to qualify for additional first-year depreciation, the property must be (1) depreciable property with a recovery period of 20 years or less; (2) water utility property; (3) computer software; or (4) qualified leasehold improvement property. Also, the original use of the property must commence with the taxpayer – used machinery does not qualify.

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