Tax rates for capital gains and qualified dividends would increase 5%, to 20% for individuals earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers). The current 15% rate would remain intact for all others.
The estate tax, which technically doesn't exist for 2010 due to Congress' inability to set a new rate, would be restored and made retroactive at a rate of 45% and with an exemption of $3.5 million.
When President Barack Obama unveiled his proposed budget, he made his priorities clear.
"While we extend middle-class tax cuts in this budget, we will not continue costly tax cuts for oil companies, investment fund managers and those making over $250,000 a year," he said. "We just can't afford it."
Low- and moderate-income families will hold onto Bush administration tax cuts. They could get additional tax relief from the "Making Work Pay" credit and an increase in the child and dependent care credit, which would double the deduction for people who are working or looking for work, and paying for child care.
The Making Work Pay credit would continue to give up to $400 to individuals and $800 to couples who make less than $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples).
The Internal Revenue Service has been cracking down on improperly classified freelancers and independent contractors, redefining some of them as full-time or on-payroll employees. The move would impact small shops that rely on temporary help.
However, employers could receive a $5,000 tax credit for each new worker hired in 2010. The credit, limited to $500,000 per company, is intended to help small businesses more than their larger counterparts.