Uncertainty About Tax Code, Economy Vexing Tax Planners

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Uncertainty about what the tax code will look like in the coming year is nothing new for tax planners, but when mixed with weak cash flow at businesses and a shaky economy, lawmakers and planners say taxpayers are especially anxious. The standard advice to shift earnings into 2010 in case tax rates rise in 2011 may be sound in most cases, but the weak economy has many taxpayers questioning what their incomes will be next year, adding a new degree of uncertainty to what is already an unusually unpredictable year for tax policy. “The uncertainty, if everything was great and the economy was going wonderful and all this kind of stuff, the uncertainty about your tax rate would not be the single biggest issue. But you add the tax rate to the uncertainty in the economy… All of those combined add weight to a decision-maker that they don't need, that we could do something about,” says Rep. Conaway, a licensed CPA.