REUTERS - Hours before a deadline for $600 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts, U.S. Senate leaders on Monday were working out the details of a deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
President Barack Obama cautioned there were still “issues left to resolve” in the tentative deal, which still needs approval from the Senate as well as the Republican-led House of Representatives.
Here are details of the deal as it stood at midday on Monday, according to a source familiar with the talks:
* Postpones the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over 10 years, known as the “sequester.” But there was not yet agreement about how long Congress would have to negotiate spending cuts and revenue increases to replace the sequester.
* Raises $600 billion in revenue over 10 years through a series of tax increases on wealthier Americans.
* Permanently extends tax cuts made in 2001 by Republican former President George W. Bush for income below $400,000 per individual, or $450,000 per family. Income above that level would be taxed at 39.6 percent, up from the current top rate of 35 percent.
* Above that income threshold, capital gains and dividends tax rates would return to 20 percent, from 15 percent.
* Caps personal exemptions and itemized deductions for income above $250,000, or $300,000 per household.
* Raises estate tax rate to 40 percent for estates of more than $10 million per couple, up from the current level of 35 percent.
* Includes a permanent fix for the alternative minimum tax.
* Extends unemployment insurance benefits for one year for 2 million people.
* Extends child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and tuition tax credit for five years.
* Extends research and experimentation tax credit, and the wind production tax credit through the end of 2013. Extends 50 percent bonus depreciation for one year.
* Avoids a cut in payments to doctors treating patients on Medicare - the so-called “doc fix.”
Reporting by Jeff Mason, Mark Felsenthal, Roberta Rampton, Kim Dixon; Editing by Mohammad Zargham