Amberlee Lovell, Deseret News

With the fiscal cliff coming, major changes could affect your family. Here is a compilation of articles to explain what the fiscal cliff is and why it is important for you to know about it. Check out the links to be prepared for the start of the new year.

What is fiscal cliff?

A large series of tax cuts, breaks and benefits, including deductions for children, will expire on Jan. 1, which could hurt a weak economy.

As a result of the increased tax burden, which some congressional aides are calling “Taxmageddon,” means $500 billion in higher taxes in 2013, Curtis Dubay, a senior policy analyst for the Heritage Foundation, told CBN News...

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More on what is fiscal cliff?

The so-called "fiscal cliff" has been making news since the end of November's election. So what is it, and what does it mean for your family?

Back when the Bush tax cuts took effect, the only way the Bush administration could get them through Congress was to promise that those tax cuts would expire. December 31, 2012 is the deadline. If lawmakers can't come to an agreement before then, it means higher taxes for you in 2013 and a good chance the U.S. economy will drop into another recession...

Read the whole story here.

Where did the deadline come from?
Associated Press

With the election over, voters can take a deep breath. But they had better make it quick. Now the "fiscal cliff" looms. And we're all headed off it if something doesn’t happen quick.

The path to the cliff was fixed in July 2011, when a debt-limit crisis was averted through a compromise that came with a time bomb whose fuse has now nearly run out.

If Congress cannot forge a compromise by Jan. 1, federal spending will be slashed by $109 billion a year...

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How much will this cost me?
Deseret News graphic

The average family will pay nearly $3,500 more in taxes in 2013 if 2001 tax cuts expire, which could plunge the country into another recession, according to a study from the Tax Policy Center on the upcoming fiscal cliff.

Nearly 90 percent of Americans would receive tax increases in the coming year if the nation topples off the cliff, according to the study...

Read the full story here.

How will my location and occupation affect my tax increase?
Deseret News graphic

This year, there is another holiday people won't want to see the end of.

The end of a temporary payroll tax cut may mean growing deficits and an underfunded Social Security system...

Read the full story here.

What is Obama's proposal?
Chris Carlson, Associated Press

President Barack Obama remained firm on his stance to raise taxes on the wealthy, claiming that Republicans will have to compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff, according to Reuters.

"What I'm not going to do is to extend further a tax cut for folks who don't need it," Obama said during his first news conference since re-election, according to Reuters...

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More on what is Obama's plan?
Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

President Barack Obama said Tuesday avoiding an economic plunge over the "fiscal cliff" comes down to Republicans' realizing that tax rates must go up on wealthiest Americans. "We're not going to be able to get a deal without it," he said.

The president said he would consider lowering rates for the top 2 percent of earners next year as part of a broader tax overhaul effort that closes loopholes, limits deductions and finds other sources of revenue...

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What common ground do Republicans and Democrats have?
Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

Bluster and hot rhetoric aside, the White House and House Republicans have identified areas of significant overlap that could form the basis for a final agreement after "fiscal cliff" posturing gives way to hard bargaining.

Both sides now concede that tax revenue and reductions in entitlement spending are essential elements of any deal. If the talks succeed, it probably will be because House Speaker John Boehner yields on raising tax rates for top earners and the White House bends on how to reduce spending on Medicare and accepts some changes in Social Security.

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What negotiations are happening?
Charles Dharapak, Associated Press

President Barack Obama warned Republicans on Wednesday against picking another fight over the nation's debt ceiling, telling business leaders that it's "not a game that I will play."

Obama said in remarks to the Business Roundtable that he was aware of reports that Republicans may be willing to agree to higher tax rates on the wealthy as a way to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" and then come back next year with more leverage to extract spending cuts from the White House in exchange for raising the government's borrowing limit...

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What are some deficit reduction proposals?
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

While Congress and the president wrestle over fiscal cliff negotiations, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce see one area of untapped potential for reducing the deficit, helping the economy and boosting revenues: energy development.

According to Reuters, President Barack Obama seeks to address the fiscal cliff by letting tax rates rise on incomes over $250,000. Republicans argue that it's possible to raise revenue without raising taxes by reforming the tax code and eliminating some loopholes...

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How do Americans feel about it?

More Americans are worried about their finances as the Financial Security Index fell to 97.1 percent in November, which is the third-lowest result of the year, according to a statement from the website.

“Since the election was resolved by the time the poll was conducted, it was evident that uncertainty over the fiscal cliff was beginning to creep in,” the company said in a statement.

Nearly one-third of Americans said their financial priority is “staying current or getting caught up on the bills,” according to the study...

Read the full story here.

How will this affect seniors?
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Seniors are standing on the edge of the upcoming fiscal cliff, according to U.S. News.

While decisions in legislation will determine how much this affects individuals, here are six ways that it can affect seniors in particular, according to the U.S. News article...

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How will this affect Utah?
Associated Press

Gov. Gary Herbert left the White House on Tuesday thinking he might have to prepare two state budgets — one if the nation tumbles over the so-called fiscal cliff and one if it doesn't.

Utah currently is looking at $420 million in new growth for the coming budget year. But state economists estimate Utah would lose not only that but another $500 million if Congress and President Barack Obama don't reach an agreement on spending cuts, tax rates and other financial issues, Herbert said...

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How does this affect National Defense?
Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

The Defense Department has begun planning for the roughly $500 billion in personnel and program cuts over a decade that will be needed if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deal that would avoid the double hit of tax hikes and automatic spending reductions dubbed the "fiscal cliff."

Department spokesman George Little said the cuts would be "devastating to our national defense."...

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What other things will it affect?

The looming words "fiscal cliff" have weighed heavy on many American's minds lately. If the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, serious consequences for health care could result. Scientific research and public health programs would receive funding cuts. As well as, ACA's Prevention and Public Health Fund could be cut $76 million, according to Kathy Lim Ko's article on The Huffington Post's blog. Ko explains other resulting damage for health care...

Read the full story here.