Tax tips if Congress lets us go over the fiscal cliff

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - We've talked about the looming fiscal cliff and how it's expected to impact tax-payers if Congress cannot act fast, but what can we do to protect our money if we go over the fiscal cliff?

Tax experts at WKTV contributor Dermody, Burke and Brown say to prepare, taxpayers should take a look at their investment portfolios. Take capital gains this year if you have stocks that have appreciated.

If you have losses, you should push them into next year to offset the higher rates.

Also, take a second glance at your withholdings to see if they need to be adjusted.

Also, take note: The alternative minimum tax patch that is set to expire weeks from now will affect a surprisingly high number of New Yorkers.

Here's an example according to Dermody, Burke and Brown Certified Public Accountant Bill Killory,"If you take an $80,000 a year married couple with just a standard deduction...if Congress doesn't pass this, they will be looking at an increase of about $900 for their tax bill because of this AMT patch."

Killory says no income bracket is immune if we do in fact go over the fiscal cliff.

"The fiscal cliff is going to effect everyone pretty quickly because of what they call their middle tax," he said. "That's when they take away all your deductions and your standard deduction and give you one big exemption."

He says good places to shelter your income in the next year are health savings accounts and retirement plans.

But as always, it's very important to talk to your own CPA to work out a financial plan that works for you.

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