Every year the tax codes change and last year was no different. The real questions, as we close in on April 15th, are: What are the significant changes that will have an effect on how I prepare my returns for 2012; and, what planning should I be doing now for the current calendar year.
The biggest news, which we’re hoping our clients have heard about at this point, is the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act at the beginning of this year. In addition to changing how the Alternative Minimum Tax is calculated on 2012 taxes, it retained the status quo for a number of temporary tax breaks, extending some retroactively and others into the 2013 tax year. Marginal tax brackets also rose a bit, so even if you made a couple thousand dollars more last year, you’ll probably owe the same percentage as you did last year.

Deductions for 2012
The standard deduction for those who don’t itemize rose by $150 for single filers and $300 for joint filers — to $5,950 if you’re filing solo and $11,900 if you’re filing with your spouse. And the amount you get to deduct for both you and your dependents […]