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Key aspects of the law include:
§ Extending the EGTRRA 2001 income tax rates for two years. Associated changes in itemized deduction and personal exemption rules are also continued for the same period. The total negative revenue impact of this was estimated at $186 billion.
§ Extending the EGTRRA 2001 and JGTRRA 2003 dividends and capital gains rates for two years. The total negative revenue impact of this was estimated at $53 billion.
§ Patching the Alternative Minimum Tax to ensure an additional 21 million households will not face a tax increase. This was done by increasing the exemption amount and making other targeted changes. The negative revenue impact of this measure was estimated at $136 billion.
§ The above three measures are intended to provide relief to more than 100 million middle-class families and prevent an annual tax increase of over $2,000 for the typical family.
§ A 13-month extension of federal unemployment benefits. The cost of this measure was estimated at $56 billion.
§ A temporary, one-year reduction in the FICA payroll tax. The normal employee rate of 6.2 percent is reduced to 4.2 percent. The rate for self-employed individuals is reduced from 12.4 percent to 10.4 percent. The negative revenue impact of this measure was estimated at $111 billion.
§ Extension of the Child Tax Credit refundability threshold established by EGTRRA, ARRA, and other measures. According to the White House, this would benefit 10.5 million lower-income families with 18 million children.
§ Extension of ARRA's treatment of the Earned Income Tax Credit for two years. According to the White House, this would benefit 6.5 million working parents with 15 million children.
§ Extension of ARRA's American opportunity tax credit for two years, including extension of income limits applied thereto. According to the White House, this would benefit more than 8 million students and their families.
§ The above three provisions, as well as some other similar ones, are intended to provide about $40 billion in tax relief for the hardest-hit families and students.
§ An extension of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010's "bonus depreciation" allowance through the end of 2011, and an increase in that amount from that act's 50 percent to a full 100 percent. For the year of 2012, it returns to 50 percent. The White House hopes the 100 percent expensing change will result in $50 billion in new investments, thus fueling job creation.
§ An extension of Section 179 depreciation deduction maximum amounts and phase-out thresholds through 2012.
§ Together, the above two business incentive measures were estimated to have a negative revenue impact of $21 billion.
§ Various business tax credits for alternative fuels, such as the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, were also extended. Others extended were credits for biodiesel and renewable diesel, refined coal, manufacture of energy-efficient homes, and properties featuring refueling for alternate vehicles. Also finding an extension was the popular domestic Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit, but with some limitations.
§ Estate tax adjustment. EGTRRA had gradually reduced estate tax rates until there was none in 2010. After sunsetting, the Clinton-era rate of 55 percent with a $1 million exclusion was due to return for 2011. The compromise package sets for two years a rate of 35 percent with an exclusion amount of $5 million. The negative revenue impact of this provision was estimated at $68 billion.
"Tax Cut Extension Bill Wends Its Way to White House". Accounting Today.
December 17, 2010.
"Fact Sheet on the Framework Agreement on Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance |". The White House.
December 7, 2010. Retrieved