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A happy new year for your 2012 taxes?

Real Estate Tax Talk

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Every year brings tax changes, but in recent years there have been more changes than usual because the U.S. Congress likes to enact "temporary" tax measures set to expire on a given date. Sometimes these measures are extended, sometimes not. These days Congress likes to wait until the very last minute (or later) to decide what to do. (No wonder Congress's approval rating is lower than Paris Hilton's.) Two important tax breaks that are set to expire on Dec. 31, 2011, are payroll tax relief and 100 percent bonus depreciation. However, on Dec. 13, the House passed the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011." Among other things, it extends both of these provisions through 2012. Payroll and self-employment tax relief Everyone who works -- whether a business owner or an employee -- is required to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Employees pay one-half of these taxes through payroll deductions; the employer must pony up the other half and send the...