America Outdoors Association
America Outdoors Association

December 27, 2012

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

NPS May Be Moderating Liability and Risk Management Requirements

Significant Tax Increases Projected in 2013 with All Expiring Fiscal Cliff Tax Provisions

 NPS May Be Moderating Liability Insurance and Risk Management Requirements

Reports from the field indicate that NPS may be moderating some liability insurance requirements.  During a December 12th meeting with Snake River float trip operators in Jackson, Wyoming, NPS said their analysis had been completed and found that $2 million should be sufficient coverage for liability insurance, down from the $5 million originally proposed in the contracts.  Limits for Guided Ski Touring Service contracts in Grand Teton were set at $2 million aggregate, $1 million per occurrence.  The Regional Director still has to approve the change for float trips since it involves contracting issues.  At Buffalo National River risk management language, which outfitters were struggling to comply with, may be modified according to NPS officials there.  

How Will Going over the Fiscal Cliff Impact Your Tax Burden?  Here Are Some Estimates.  
The House of Representatives is headed back to Washington on Sunday in a last ditch effort to avert the Fiscal Cliff.  What can you expect for 2013 taxes if all the tax provisions, including the current tax rates and the 2 percent payroll tax holiday revert to the year 2000 levels?  Answer: significant tax increases for almost every household and many small business.  90% of households will see a tax increase.  The average for all households will be $3,446.  Other taxes, such as an increase in capital gains taxes and a new 3.8% tax on unearned income (investment income) included in the Affordable Care Act for incomes over $250,000, may impact some outfitters' more affluent customers.  All total, the Tax Policy Center projects a $500 billion tax increase. 
Meanwhile, the deficit for the first two months of the fiscal year, which began in October, was $292 billion.  
Some tax increases, such as the payroll tax holiday, take effect on January 1 if nothing is done.  Congress will have time to tinker with the tax rates between now and the due date for 2013, although withholding schedules may change if nothing is done soon.  Since over 94% of businesses in America are taxed at the individual rate (according to the Congressional Budget Office), the tax rate increases will hit many small businesses.  A recent CBO study lamented the loss of federal revenues due to the lower rates paid by business entities organized as partnerships, S Corp.'s, LLC's and sole proprietorships since their rates are usually lower than the 35% rate paid by C Corporations (except for the highest income pass through businesses which share the 35% rate).  An opinion piece in a recent Wall Street Journal article suggested some large C Corps may back rate increases for high income pass through entities in return for a reduction of the C Corp rate to 28%.
Here are the changes in rates if nothing happens.
  • The 10 percent tax bracket for lower incomes will disappear leaving 15 percent as the lowest rate, a 5% increase and the largest percentage rate increase.
  • 25% increases to 28%;
  • 28% increases to 31%;
  • 33% increases to 36%;
  • and 35% will go to 39.6%.

The breakdown of how much more on average Americans can expect to pay based on income levels is provided below from the Tax Policy Institute.  Remember these are averages based on the expiration of all the current tax cut provisions, the AMT patch, payroll tax holiday and other increases.  The actual amount per household will vary depending on the number of dependents and other factors.  

Annual income              Avg. tax change

< $10,000                   $   217

$10,000 to $20,000      $   537

$20,000 to $30,000      $ 1,064

$30,000 to $40,000      $ 1,417

$40,000 to $50,000      $ 1,729

$50,000 to $75,000      $  2,399

$75,000 to $100,000    $  3,688

$100,000 to $200,000  $  6,662

$200,000 to $500,000  $14,643

$500,000 to $1 million  $38,969

Over $1 million           $250,000  (This has to be for much higher incomes).

The Tax Policy Center is a joint effort of the Brookings Institution and Urban Policy Center.

 copyright 2012 America Outdoors Association

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