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Calculate your possible fiscal cliff tax bill

How optimistic are you that the White House and Congress will cobble together a deal to keep the U.S. economy from falling off the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1, 2013?

I'm hedging my bets and predicting a short-term deal (six months or maybe a year) by year's end that would keep the worst from happening but not really make anybody happy. We are, after all, at the mercy of politicians.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope both sides can agree to something a little more permanent, whatever that means on Capitol Hill.

And I really hope that whatever the decision, it comes in time for all us taxpayers to make some end-of-year tax moves.

In the meantime, you can divert yourself by checking out what your tax bill might be if we all go tumbling like lemmings over the fiscal cliff.

Paycheck City has created a calculator where you select your filing status and the number of allowances you can claim and it tells you what your tax bill will be under possible 2013 tax rates.

In the example below, a married couple with one dependent will see a $5,079 increase in their tax bill.

Fiscal Cliff tax calculator from PayCheckCity Click image to go to's fiscal cliff calculator.

That tax bill, however, is a bit high.

Note that the calculator doesn't take into account any deduction amount, either standard or itemized.

Neither does it include other possible tax-saving breaks, such as the child tax credit, assuming that the couple's third exemption is a minor dependent child. Even if we fall off the fiscal cliff, the child tax credit will still be around, just at $500 per child instead of the Bush-era tax law increase to $1,000 per kiddo.

Still, the calculator does give you a rough idea of your potentially higher tax bill if our lawmakers aren't able to steer us away from the impending tax precipice.

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