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 1099 software > Learning Center > News > Changes

Starting in 2011


Higher Tax Rates

Beginning in 2011, tax rates in effect prior to 2001 spring back into effect. The top income tax rate returns to 39.6 percent, and the special low 10 percent bracket is eliminated. Whether this will actually happen will be at the heart of a spirited battle in Congress.

Estate Tax Revived

For individuals dying after 2010, the federal estate tax returns with a $1,000,000 exemption and a 50 percent maximum rate. This assumes that Congress allows the estate tax to disappear in 2010, which is unlikely.

Increase in Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Rates

The tax rate reductions for long-term capital gains and dividends is scheduled to expire this year.

  • In 2011, the maximum long-term capital gains tax rate goes back up to 20 percent from 15 percent. A lower 10 percent tax rate is used by individuals who are in the 15 percent tax bracket. Their long-term capital gains had been tax-free since 2008.

  • In 2011, dividend income (other than capital gain distributions from mutual funds) is taxed as ordinary income at your highest marginal tax rate.

Child Tax Credit

The credit of $1,000 per eligible child reverts to $500 after 2010. After 2010, none of the child tax credit will be refundable to taxpayers unless their earned income is more than $12,550. This is one of the many Bush tax cuts currently scheduled to expire after 2010.

Payroll Tax Credit

Starting in 2011, the partial credit for payroll taxes paid is no longer available.

Decreased Section 179 Expense Deduction

Taxpayers who purchase qualifying business property may elect to deduct the cost of the property (new or used) in the year that it is placed in service. This is referred to as a Section 179 deduction. In 2009 and 2010, the maximum amount of property that may be taken as a Section 179 deduction is $125,000, as indexed for inflation. In 2011 and future years, the maximum deduction drops to $25,000.

College Savings Plans

Beginning in 2011, 529 Plans can no longer be tapped tax-free to pay for a computer or Internet access.

Tax Credit for College Tuition

The Hope credit is again limited to the first two years of college and is capped at $1,800. None of the credit is refundable if it is more than your regular income tax liability.

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

Temporary increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit for filers with three or more children and the higher income levels for the phaseout of the credit are repealed.

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