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Hey it’s tax time again and here is a short summary of some of the recent changes that you should be aware of. With the exception of payroll tax, for most people their is little to no change in both tax rates and capital gain tax rates.

I recently read an article in Money Watch and according to Money Watch:

Tax rates on ordinary taxable income. For workers with taxable income below certain levels, their tax rates will remain at 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent. For single filers with taxable income above $400,000, married filers with income over $450,000, married filing separately over $225,000 and heads of household with taxable income over $425,000, the new 39.6 percent rate will replace the 35 percent tax rate for income over these amounts. So a married couple with a taxable income of $650,000 will pay an additional $9,200 of income tax just due to this change.

Higher tax rates for long-term capital gains and dividend income. Like the income tax rates for people with incomes below certain levels, the tax rates that apply to their capital gains and dividends will remain the same. But for taxpayers with the higher incomes noted above, their rate increases from 15 percent to 20 percent. So a taxpayer with $10,000 in capital gains and $10,000 in dividend income would pay an additional $1,000 of income tax due to this change.

So I know after I read this, I had to ask myself, “Where’s the silver lining?” Even though Congress has ensured that workers will pay more in payroll taxes and some of us will pay more in income taxes, the good news is that many of these new tax rules that were put into place are to help avoid the “fiscal cliff” (or at least cushion the fall!) and they are permanent. This will give many of us business owners a welcome sense of stability which could open up a plethora of opportunities; whether it’s setting up a business in relation to tax implications or giving people more confidence in your current investment (or investing in general). These new tax laws may be just the push you need to apply more focus or stay focused on working your self-directed accounts (401Ks, IRAs, HSAs, Coverdale accounts) because your investments can grow tax-free or tax deferred. With the exception of Coverdale accounts, you still have until April 15th to put contributions in for both 2012 and 2013! So get your money moving, and happy filing!