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Dec 31, 2012 8:37 PM by Matt Stafford

Scramble ahead of fiscal cliff deadline

The uncertainty leading up to the midnight deadline for Congress for the fiscal cliff is creating a lot of hustle and bustle in southern Colorado. Some locals seem to be bracing for the impact if we completely fall off.

Monday was a busy morning at the Goodwill donation center near N. Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs; clearing room out after Christmas, getting things out of the house for the end of the year, and other reasons.

"Receipts for your taxes, and every little bit helps," says Cheryl Devine, who stopped by to donate. Some of that rush is because of the looming fiscal cliff, but not all.

Work has been stacking up for Colorado Springs accountant Paul Nelson.

"About twice as busy with my appointments and phone calls," says Nelson.

Nelson says it's mostly people asking what to do. He says people are asking about some things more than others, like the estate tax - people moving money in fear of higher tax rates ahead - but also things that affect paycheck to paycheck, like how much is taken out for Social Security.

Normally, when it comes to the Social Security payroll tax, we're supposed to be paying 6.2 percent from each paycheck, but for the last two years Congress lowered it to 4.2 percent - helping to give most people a two-percent raise, and hopefully stimulate the economy. Now - if we go over the cliff or the lower rate isn't extended - pay checks go up.

"And there are a lot of people that pay payrolls on the first, and they don't even know what tax to take out of their employees paychecks," says Nelson.

So, eyes are on Washington.

"We don't know what the result of this is going to be," says Nelson.

For most of us, at the time, it's out of our hands.

 

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