"With its scores of new and extended provisions, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 offers something for nearly all taxpayers and their preparers to assess and implement as they begin preparing 2012 returns and plan for the future. Less than two hours into 2013 and the “fiscal cliff” expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts and scheduled implementation of automatic federal spending cuts, the Senate passed the act (H.R. 8), and the House of Representatives quickly followed suit.
Most prominently, the law made permanent most of the cuts, including lower individual tax rates on ordinary income, capital gains, and dividends, although adding higher rates for the wealthiest taxpayers. Congress also extended many tax credits and other favorable provisions for individuals and businesses and clean-energy incentives..." continue
Source: Journal of Accountancy by Paul Bonner