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Even with deal, payroll tax likely to rise

3:16 PM, Dec 31, 2012   |    comments
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David Jackson, USA TODAY

Even if Congress reaches a fiscal cliff deal Monday, millions of Americans are still likely to see taxes go up in 2013.

That's because the 2% payroll tax holiday is set to expire on Tuesday, and the question of extending it doesn't appear to be part of budget talks in Congress.

Most of the Democratic-Republican talks revolved around the George W. Bush-era rate on income taxes; no one seems to be talking about the payroll tax rise that is also part of the fiscal cliff of tax hikes and budget cuts that begin in the new year.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that up to 125 million households will see take-home pay decline by 2%.

Reports CNNMoney:

"That's a far bigger slice of the population than the group of Americans who would be affected by proposed income tax hikes. If taxes are raised on incomes exceeding $250,000, roughly 2.8 million households would be impacted. Meanwhile, a mere 368,000 Americans would feel a tax hit if rates rise on incomes above $1 million.

"Letting the payroll tax break expire shouldn't come as a big surprise: Obama introduced the payroll tax cut as a temporary measure to stimulate the economy. But nothing is set in stone, and a revival of the tax break -- or some form of it -- isn't out of the question.

"If it does expire, the payroll tax rate would revert from 4.2% to 6.2% on the first $113,700 in earnings."

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