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Average tax bill increase if we fall off the fiscal cliff? $3,446

Not to be a Grinch on the eve of Christmas Eve, but while we wait for the fiscal cliff to be resolved, it's worth a look at what tax bills could be in 2013.

While Obama is an admitted "hopeless optimist" who believes a tax and spending deal can be reached by Dec. 31, I'm not so sure.

Yeah, I know that less than two weeks ago I professed a tiny bit of faith that a deal would be struck before Dec. 31. But even then I qualified that prediction by saying I didn't expect any agreement to be reached much before the last day of the year.

Now, after House Speaker John Boehner watched his troops turn on him when he tried to get his Plan B passed, I'm thinking we'll go off the cliff. Only then will lawmakers deal with taxes, both individual income tax rates et al for 2013 and retroactively for temporary tax breaks (aka extenders) that have already expired or will do on at the of 2012.

If that happens, the Tax Policy Center says that combined taxes in 2013 will increase by more than $500 billion affecting nearly 90 percent of Americans.

OK, $500 billion is too big of a number for anyone to truly grasp. So TPC analysts have broken it down for us by income levels.

That gets us to a more acceptable, at least from the standpoint of having a better idea of the dollars involved, average tax bill increase of $3,446.

And that larger average federal tax bill amount 2013 if we fall off the fiscal cliff is today's By the Numbers figure.

3446 dollar average tax bill increase in 2013 if fall off fiscal cliff

Don't freak. That's the average.

TPC has calculated the possible tax bill increases for various income levels, too.

Folks who make less than $10,000 will see an increase of $217. If you earn between $50,000 to $75,000 your tax bill will go up $2,399. And if you make more than $1 million, you'll see a $254,637 increase in your 2013tax bill.

If you're not in one of those three income brackets, the table below gives your some other earnings and tax bill increase possibilities.

Income Range
Percentage Change in After-tax Income Dollar increase in Average Federal Income Tax Bill
Less than $10,000 -4.1% $217
$10,000 to $20,000 -3.6% $537
$20,000 to $30,000 -4.5% $1,064
$30,000 to $40,000 -4.4% $1,417
$40,000 to $50,000 -4.3% $1,729
$50,000 to $75,000 -4.6% $2,399
$75,000 to $100,000 -5.1% $3,688
$100,000 to $200,000 -6.3% $6,663
$200,000 to $500,000 -6.9% $14,643
$500,000 to $1 million -8.0% $38,969
More than $1 million -11.4% $254,637

When you call your Senators and Representative next week to urge them to come to a deal, you might want to refer to these numbers.

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northern kentucky attorneys

OMG, of course this is a lot of money, and this is just average? Hey, Fiscal cliff is very important, how could they just give less attention to this. Tsk, it is the governing!

Ralph Morgan

Sounds like a lot, but isn't it still trivial compared with the annual budget deficit per taxpayer?

While falling off the 'fiscal cliff' will probably be bad in terms of pushing the US back into recession, any compromise solution could be even worse in the long run... From here in OZ it appears that a) the Republicans 'magical thinking' is that the solution is to simply slash 'big government' spending and NOT raise ANY taxes, b) the Democrates 'magical thinking' is that the solution is to simply raise taxes to fund a lot of desireable government spending programs and NOT slash ANY spending, and c) the US population generally would like to think that there's a solution that doesn't involve either raising taxes OR cutting benefits/spending programs...

It would be nice to see some negotiations that were more about finding a sensible long-term solution than pushing the party line.

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