WEB EXTRA: Top Tax Breaks for Individuals

Created: 01/10/2013 8:46 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

U.S. tax law is filled with so many credits, deductions and exemptions that Americans will be able to reduce their tax bills by about $1.1 trillion this year, according to congressional estimates.
    
The biggest tax breaks, and the amount they will save taxpayers this year:
    
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-Employer contributions toward workers' medical insurance premiums and medical care are not taxed: $181 billion.
    
-Retirement plan contributions and earnings are not taxed: $165 billion.
    
-Mortgage interest deduction: $101 billion.
    
-Lower tax rates on long-term capital gains and qualified dividends: $84 billion.
    
-Deduction for state and local taxes: $69 billion.
    
-Deduction for charitable contributions: $46 billion.
    
-Most Social Security and veterans' benefits are not taxed: $45 billion.
    
-Interest on tax-exempt state and local government bonds is not taxed: $26 billion.
    
-When someone dies, the capital gains on his investments is not taxed: $24 billion.
    
-Income from some life insurance products is not taxed: $23 billion.
    
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Sources: National Taxpayer Advocate; Joint Committee on Taxation.

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