No matter what happens to the fiscal cliff, local residents can expect a tax increase next year, according to Brian Byars of Advanced Retirement Planners.
The key to making sure you're prepared is to have a plan, because taxes will increase in the coming year.
"Right now, there's a lot of uncertainty of what's going to happen to the tax code, but it is pretty obvious that taxes are going to increase. Without a doubt in 2013, you will be paying more for taxes, just how much we don't know," said Byars.
Byars said a way to combat that - or to at least get a handle on it - is by sitting down with a professional, not going to a place that simply fills out taxes for you, because then you will end up paying more.
"Plan to pay more unless you work with a professional," he said.
With estate taxes, a new estate tax exclusion is set to reduce from a $5.2 million exemption for a married couple, to $1 million. And while that may sound high for most, Byars said that most people don't realize how quickly they can hit that mark if they have things like life insurance and retirement accounts.
"If you take a middle income family that has a mom and a dad working and they have $200,000 each saved up in a retirement account and a $200,000 home and life insurance on each other for $500,000 - if both of them pass away, under the new state tax provision, you're looking at an estate of $1.6 million, and you will be getting a bill from the IRS for $330,000, due within nine months of death... Unless people do something, that could affect a lot of people."
In addition to personal and estate taxes, capital gains taxes will also increase and dividend interest will be treated as ordinary income, which could affect many retirees. People are scheduled to pay more for Social Security and Medicaid, payroll taxes, and for those receiving a child tax credit, it could from $1,000 to $500.
Byars stressed that none of these anticipated changes are set in stone and they are constantly changing, but the one thing that remains, expect to pay more in 2013.