Surviving the fiscal cliff.
That's next on Tax Break.
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We now know how the fiscal cliffhanger ended, and it wasn't as bad as many taxpayers had feared.
Rates were not changed for 2012, although they will be for 2013 to some extent. You will need to brush up on your deductions and credits, because several tax benefits that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012 have been saved or modified in some way. They include about a dozen provisions commonly referred to as "extender provisions" because they're extended every couple of years. And of course no one knows if Congress will change its mind later this year as it continues to deal with financial questions.
Among the more popular extenders are deductions or credits for teacher out-of-pocket expenses, higher education tuition and fees, energy efficiency improvements, mortgage insurance premiums and -- especially beneficial to taxpayers in areas with no state or local income tax -- the option to deduct state and local sales taxes instead of those income taxes.