What The New Fiscal Cliff Agreement Means For Your Taxes - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

What The New Fiscal Cliff Agreement Means For Your Taxes

LAWTON, Okla_We avoided falling off the so called Fiscal Cliff, and all of the worst-case scenarios that were talked about for months are history. However, even with all of the news coverage and headlines of the House and the Senate coming to an agreement, many have been left to wonder what exactly came out of the deal.

Chris Meyers, a tax attorney for over 40 years, said the Fiscal Cliff agreement will not mean much for people in Southwest Oklahoma.

"Persons who are not in the ultra-high income area will not notice any effect. Your taxes will not be increased, " said Meyers.

Under the new Fiscal Cliff agreement, the centerpiece of the deal is an income tax increase for individuals who make more than $400,000 a year or couples who make more than $450,000 a year, from 35% to 39.6%.

"Probably no more than 100 families in this area would have incomes in excess of $450,000 per year on their joint return or $400,000 on an individual return, " said Meyers.

The new tax increases have been estimated to raise roughly 600 billion dollars over the next 10 years, which sounds like a lot, but compared to our over 16 trillion dollars of debt, it is just a drop in the bucket.

"It certainly will not solve our problems. It's probably a step in the right direction, but certainly not a cure-all, " Meyers explained.

Aside from the constant news chatter, most will not feel the sting of the Fiscal Cliff, but for those who will be affected, there is a silver lining.

"If you're one of those persons who wakes up and your taxes are going to be a lot higher, then you should be happy because you'll be making more than $450,000, " Meyers said.

There is one bit of bad news. Despite the last minute Fiscal Cliff agreement, 77% of Americans are likely to see smaller paychecks due to a separate battle over payroll tax rates that expired on Monday. Most people will be paying at least 2% more in payroll taxes a year, meaning Americans earning $30,000 a year will take home around $50 less per month.

In addition to the tax increases, the new agreement has extended the Farm Bill and unemployment benefits each for an additional year. But Congress' work is far from over. In two months, there will be the threat of massive federal spending cuts coming into effect, and of course, they still have that 16.4 trillion dollar national debt to sort out.

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