Congressional inaction would raise everyone's taxes

Monday - 6/4/2012, 1:21pm EDT

For Your Benefit

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June 4, 2012 -- If Congress does not act, a series of tax cuts and benefits passed in 2001 and 2003 will expire, raising taxes for all Americans, not just the wealthiest.

This week on For Your Benefit attorney Tom O'Rourke of the law firm of Miles and Stockbridge tells host Bob Leins that, if the Bush-era tax cuts expire as scheduled, individual income tax rates will increase across the board.

O'Rourke expresses doubt as to whether Congress and the president can come to an agreement preventing the expiration of the cuts in an election year.

As the law stands now, all of the cuts and benefits passed in 2001 and 2003 are subject to a "sunset," or expiration, provision at the end of 2012.

"All of these changes will happen unless an agreement is reached between the president and Congress," O'Rourke says, "and so far the track record of the president and Congress reaching an agreement on fiscal issues hasn't been great."

O'Rourke and Leins then delve into a series of scenarios in which people's tax rates go up, from child tax credits to federal estate taxes.

Listen to the show and and email any questions to ForYourBenefit@nitpinc.com.