Baby born Dec. 31 pays off at tax time
Tax moves to make in January 2012

Last week at my other tax blog: Year-end tax moves; Rich don't pay enough taxes

Taxes were a big topic as 2011 wrapped up.

Bankrate Taxes Blog icon Most of us were looking for ways to pay less when we file next year.

Others were concerned that those who can afford it aren't paying enough.

Although 2011, most of the 6 easy year-end tax moves that I discussed last week at my other tax blog can be applied in 2012, too.

The tax credit for home energy improvements and the itemized tax deduction for state and local sales taxes officially ended on Dec. 31, 2011. But Congress might reinstate them for the coming year. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, there will be a lot of talk during the 2012 election campaigns about who pays how much in taxes. A recent poll, however, found that most folks are concerned that the rich don't pay enough taxes.

Keep an eye on tax rates for higher income earners, both here and at Bankrate Taxes Blog, as the end (again) of the the Bush tax cuts approaches on Dec. 31, 2012.

You can check out new posts at my other tax blog each Tuesday and Thursday. If you happen to miss them there, you can find a wrap-up here each Saturday.

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I'll admit, I don't fully understand how hedge fund and other big money managers are able to take their income at cap gain rates. This seems to be a big part of the 'tax the rich' issue as we read that the $1M/yr earners don't actually pay tax at a full marginal 38% (or higher).

That said, I don't know what structure, if any, would be both revenue neutral, or even positive, and actually seem fair to all.

There's something appealing about the proposed flat taxes, with one set of exemptions so the family of four can earn $50K with no tax due, and no other tinkering. It would be virtually impossible for congress to pass such a new tax code. So this discussion has no end, and the verbal class warfare will continue. (You think a 15% flat tax from $50K thru $250K, and say 20% beyond that would pass the smell test? The simpler, the better)

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