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Presidential tax plan; Hot weather and cool tax breaks

Last weekend I was getting ready to head to San Diego for that city's IRS Nationwide Tax Forum. I'm not a good traveler. Even when it's somewhere I want to go, and this was, I tend to put off getting ready to go until the last minute.

That's my excuse story for missing my regular last week at my other tax blog entry last weekend and I'm sticking to it. But it's also led to double duty this weekend.

And since I'm already behind, let's get to it for the week of July 9 through 13.

Bankrate Taxes Blog icon That week began with the president's announcement that he wants to keep the current four lowest income tax rates in place through 2013, but bump the top two rates from 33 percent and 35 percent to 36 percent and 36.9 percent, respectively, for individuals making more than $200,000 per year and families with annual income exceeding $250,000. Public opinion polls seem to back up the prez's position.

We didn't just take the temperature of potential voters that week, we also took literal temperatures and they were hot, hot, hot.

The first six months of 2012 were the warmest January to June on record for the U.S. mainland, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center's "State of the Climate: National Overview for June 2012" report.

The only consolation is that those hot temps also could mean some cool tax breaks. They include some advanced home energy upgrades that could qualify for a tax credit, as well as potentially tax-deductible gifts to charitable groups that help out those who don't have air conditioning.

You can check out my posts over at Bankrate Taxes Blog each Tuesday and Thursday. If you happen to miss them on those days, you usually eventually can find a wrap-up here the following weekend.

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