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  • AAII Tax Guide Delayed

    Our 2010 tax guide has been delayed while we wait for Congress to act.

    As you may know, Congress adjourned its fall session without making a decision about whether to extend all or some of the Bush tax cuts. This left several of next year’s tax rates in doubt.

    Among the rates in question are dividend and capital gains taxes. The top rate on qualified dividends is currently 15%, but dividends could be taxed at ordinary income rates next year if nothing is done. (The top nominal rate is 39.6%.) Long-term capital gains have a current top rate of 15%, but could reset to 20%.

    Besides tax rates, alternative minimum tax and estate tax exemptions have yet to be decided. Furthermore, Congress has yet to reauthorize a provision that allows taxpayers older than 70½ to make charitable donations directly from their IRAs.

    Given these uncertainties, we determined that the most prudent decision was to delay the annual tax guide until we have more clarity. We did not want to publish information that we knew was subject to change. Furthermore, even if we published some of the proposed tax rates that appear likely to be agreed upon, there is no guarantee that the information would still be valid by the time the December issue arrived in your mailbox.

    Our current intention is to run the tax guide as part of the January 2011 issue and publish a regular issue of the Journal—meaning no guide—in December. The final decision will depend on what Congress does or doesn’t do. Representatives of Illinois’ congressional delegation told us that Congress should reconvene on November 15. The earlier in the session Congress acts on 2011 taxes, the more time we will have to compile the information.

    We understand that this is frustrating, but our preference is to avoid giving you information that we cannot guarantee is correct. Keep in mind that the delay on 2011 tax rates impacts not only our tax guide, but also every other tax publication, book and software program. Therefore, be sure to check the publication date and ask whether there are any updates available when using a tax aid.

    —Charles Rotblut, editor


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