The expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts on Dec. 31, 2012, would increase tax rates on most ranges of ordinary income including long-term capital gains along with qualified dividends.

But higher taxes won't just affect wealthy taxpayers like some people think.

A recent report by the Tax Policy Center notes: "Every income group would see taxes rise by more than 3.5 percent of pretax income. Upper income taxpayers would experience the largest tax increases, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of income. The top quintile would see its tax burden rise by slightly over $14,000 per tax return, almost 6 percent of pre-tax income. Taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the distribution would experience an average tax increase of over $120,000, slightly over 7 percent of their pretax income."

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