Top tax breaks
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:
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.
Sources: National Taxpayer Advocate; Joint Committee on Taxation