Lake Country This Month

February 2013

Lake Country This Month

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FEBRUARY 2013 Page 2A • FREEMAN & ENTERPRISE LAKE COUNTRY Tax law changes go into effect this year Highest brackets to pay higher rates; all to pay more in Social Security taxes By Shannon Venegas Special to The Freeman The American Taxpayer Relief Act 2012 is not a grand solution to the fiscal cliff, but Congress hopes it will help to resolve certain tax elements and get the budget back on the right track. The act holds few changes for the middle and low-income taxpayers, but will require more contribution from the highincome tax bracket. First and foremost, according to the Internal Revenue Service website, tax rates will increase to 39.6 percent for individuals whose income exceeds $400,000 ($450,000 for married couples). Additionally, capital gains rates and dividends have been raised to 20 percent for individuals in that same high income bracket, said Kevin Haut, certified public accountant at Emanuele & Haut, CPAs, in Hartland. Congress also reinstated limitations on itemized deductions and personal exemptions for individuals with an income higher than $250,000 ($300,000 for married couples). Haut pointed out, though, that the spending by taxpayers in the higher bracket probably won't be affected by the tax rate raise. "The people that are in that bracket, it's not going to change anything," Haut said. "They're still going to buy what they're going to buy." Another change made was on the estate tax, which was raised to 40 percent. However, the exemption will remain at $5 million and be annually indexed for inflation. Additionally, according to the IRS website, the standard deduction rises to $6,100 ($12,200 for married couples filing jointly), up from $5,950 ($11,900 for married couples filing jointly). Haut said the act provides an advantage for businesses, allowing them $500,000 in deductible expenses. While many of these new pro- "Everyone has 2 percent less purchasing power than they did a year ago. I think everyone is going to be affected and it will have a negative effect on the economy.You're going to have less money in your pocket at the end of the day. For some people, that's going to make them make some tough choices." – Kevin Haut, certified public accountant at Emanuele & Haut, CPAs, in Hartland visions only affect a small percentage of the population, Haut pointed out that elimination of the payroll tax decreases will affect spending. As of Jan. 1, workers now pay 6.2 percent out of their income toward Social Security instead of 4.2 percent. "Everyone has 2 percent less purchasing power than they did a year ago," Haut said. "I think everyone is going to be affected and it will have a negative effect on the economy. You're going to have less money in your pocket at the end of the day. For some people, that's going to make them make some tough choices." As for people preparing their 2012 taxes right now, very little has changed. Haut said most of the provisions set forth in 2011, such as the $1,000 credit for lowincome families with a child, as well as tuition credits, have been extended into 2012. For questions regarding changes for 2013, Haut recommends going online instead of calling the IRS. There are many valuable resources available at The FREEMAN & ENTERPRISE How to reach us 801 N. Barstow St., P.O. Box 7, Waukesha, WI 53187 262-542-2500 Hours: M-F 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. If you have a news tip from the Lake Country area, contact Amber Gramza at 513-2661 or To advertise in "Lake Country This Month" call the advertising department at (262) 513-2624. To subscribe to the daily Freeman or weekly Enterprise call 542-2500 Freeman subscription rates • By in-county mail 13 weeks........$33.80 26 weeks........$64.22 52 weeks......$121.68 • Out-of-county mail 13 weeks.............$45 26 weeks............$90 Enterprise subscription rates • Oconomowoc ZIP code 6 months.....$12.00 1 year..........$21.00 2 years........$40.00 • Ashippun, Ixonia, Neosho, Rubicon, Okauchee,Watertown A stunning variety of options to keep you cozy. 52 weeks..........$175 Easy buy .....$8.95 a month with credit card Electronic edition ......$6.95 a month with credit card and Sullivan ZIP codes and other Waukesha County addresses 6 months.....$16.00 1 year..........$29.00 2 years........$56.00 • All other addresses 6 months.....$20.00 1 year..........$37.00 2 years........$72.00 Circulation Dept. To reach the Circulation Department call 542-2501 or go to MANAGEMENT Phil Paige - Group Publisher..............(262) 387-4830 Bill Yorth - Editor-in-Chief.............................513-2671 Mary Reardon – Managing Editor................513-2657 Jim Baumgart - Freeman Group Ad Director 513-2621 Tim Haffemann - Circulation Director....513-2640 Matt Marlett - Plant Manager......................513-2633 Patricia Scheel - Prepress Manager...........513-2690 Submitted photo Donation drive a success Dr. Abby Rose and volunteer Richard Bolte shake hands at Lake Country Caring's facility in Hartland, after Dr. Rose dropped off donations Dec. 19. Dr. Rose and her staff at Chiropractic Care Center – Hartland say they would like to thank all those who donated to their Lake Country Caring donations drive. It was a huge success, Dr. Rose says, with two vehicle-loads of donations consisting of clothing, house supplies, children's coats and boots and other useful things. Lake Country Caring is a charity aimed at helping those in need in Lake Country. NEWS DEPARTMENT Local News - Amber Gramza........................513-2661 Sports - Lee Fensin..........................................513-2667 Death Notices - Shana Duffy.......................513-2618 Newsroom Fax....................................(262) 542-8259 CLASSIFIEDS: 542-2211 Hours: M -F 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. PHOTO REPRINTS Color reprints are $25 each. Call 542-2501 PAGE REPRINTS Go to HOME COMFORT SYSTEMS Innovation never felt so good.™ NEW YEAR – NEW YOU! Whatever the size of your home or budget, Lennox has a home comfort system that's right for you. And because our entire line of products is designed to provide efficient heating and cooling, you could enjoy lower bills without sacrificing comfort. 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