05/24/2012 04:52 pm ET

How Lower Rates From Tax Reform Could Raise Your Tax Bill

If the Bush tax cuts expire as scheduled at year-end, the top federal income tax rate will automatically jump from 35% to 39.6% (or 43.4% if you count the 3.8% surtax on investment income of high earners).

But here's a man-bites-dog alert: It's likely that tax rates will go down -- that's right, down, not up -- when Congress tackles fundamental tax reform (perhaps as early as 2013).

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