Tax Provisions Expiring December 31, 2011

There a few federal income tax deductions and other provisions that expire this year:

  • Tax-free distributions from IRAs for charitable purposes -  Taxpayers who were at least age 70½ could make tax-free charitable distributions from an IRA up to $100,000.
  • Contributions of capital gain real property made for conservation purposes - The expanded deduction (50% for individuals, 100% for qualified farmers and ranchers) of the value of a qualified conservation easement donated to a qualifying charitable organization. In 2012 and later, the deduction will be limited to 30% for all taxpayers.
  • Deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers - The above-the-line deduction of up to $250 for unreimbursed classroom expenses.
  • Deduction of state and local sales taxes - Taxpayers could choose to deduct, as an itemized deduction on Schedule A, state and local general sales taxes, in lieu of deducting state and local income taxes.
  • Qualified tuition and related expenses - Certain taxpayers were allowed an above-the-line deduction (up to a maximum of $4,000) for qualified tuition and related expenses for higher education.
  • Individual AMT exemption amounts - Individual AMT exemption amounts for 2011 are $74,450 (married filing jointly), $37,225 (married filing separately), and $48,450 (single and head of household). In 2012 the exemption amounts will decrease to $45,000 (MFJ), $22,500 (MFS), and $33,750 (Single/HoH).

It's possible that tax legislation in 2012 could retroactively extend these benefits.  A host of other tax cuts will also expire on December 31, 2012, and I'm sure that Congress will at least attempt to address the issue next year.  Stay tuned for more fun and games from Washington!

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