BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- The dividend clock is ticking. Are you ready for it?
As the so-called fiscal cliff comes closer, one key component of the tax increases set to trigger on January 1 is the treatment of dividend income. This item is set to change after a decade of record-low tax rates for unearned income. Since 2003, we've gotten accustomed to paying Uncle Sam just 15% of our dividend earnings, but barring a deal between the White House and Congress before year-end, that rate jumps up to whatever you pay for regular income.
That change could have a real, negative impact on income investors, a group that's already gotten shellacked in the last several years on the heels of record-low interest rates and comparatively high inflation. As a dividend seeker, you've got to fill that gap somehow; that's why today, we'll focus on finding likely dividend hikes for the coming quarter.