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Investing Specialists

What the Tax Deal Means for Your Portfolio Plan

As 2013 dawns, so do changes in the tax rates on income, dividends, capital gains, and estates.

The tax deal that passed through the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening included something for everyone to revile: Tax hawks decried higher taxes on the wealthy, while many on the left rued that Bush-era tax cuts were made permanent. And it's hard not to be depressed that further partisan bickering is almost certainly on the way: Within the next few months, Congress will revisit the debt-ceiling limit as well as spending cuts.

Yet financial planners and tax and legal professionals still have something to cheer about in the wake of the deal: certainty. The past several years have featured many question marks about the direction of tax rates, with various Bush-era provisions facing expiration, being extended, and threatening to expire yet again. In that many of the cuts are now permanent, the newfound certainty in tax rates makes matters of investment, estate, and tax planning significantly easier.