'Fiscal Cliff' deadline approaching fast, no deal in sight - FOX 13 News

'Fiscal Cliff' deadline approaching fast, no deal in sight

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Will lawmakers come to an agreement before Monday's midnight deadline? Will lawmakers come to an agreement before Monday's midnight deadline?
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

The political wrangling over the ‘fiscal cliff' continued Sunday as the country inched closer to the reality that taxes will go up for just about every American.

If Democrats and Republicans in Washington can't strike a deal on by midnight Monday automatic cuts in government spending will kick in. Perhaps even more pressing for many is the approximately $400 billion in tax hikes.

President Barack Obama made a rare stop on the Sunday morning talk show circuit discussing the ‘cliff crisis' on NBC's Meet the Press.

"On midnight December 31 if Congress doesn't act, then everybody's taxes go up," the President explained. "And for the average family, that could mean a $2,000 loss in income."

As the clock continued to tick Congress met Sunday to try to hammer out a deal.

"In order to get things moving, I've just spoken with the Majority Leader. I also placed a call to the Vice President to see if he could help jump-start the negotiations on his side," said Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

But as of Sunday night no agreement had been reached.

And while the prospect of higher taxes in 2013 is on everyone's mind there's another potential tax issue that could arise from this standoff - your 2012 tax return could be delayed.

"In years past the IRS accepted e-file returns around the 15th of January," said Tom Osborn of H&R Block. "This year they've announced that they won't accept them until the 22nd."

Several provisions tied to the ‘fiscal cliff' have to be hashed out before tax returns can be processed. So many American consumers expecting a hefty return to pay off big Christmas bills will likely have to wait.

"The uncertainty is that there's some 70 odd programs that are running that will expire on December 31st," Osborn added.

But he says don't let that prevent you from filing.

Osborn: "They should file early; they should know what's going on."

Sunday's talks stalled over a provision in a Republican proposal that would change the way Social Security benefits are calculated. A move that would in effect reduce benefits over time.

GOP leaders have now indicated they are willing to drop that proposal.

Will that make it easier to strike a deal? Stay tuned.

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