While lawmakers in Washington continue to wrangle over what taxes will be raised in 2013, investors and corporations have been making swift moves to avoid the expected increases in 2013.
Two types of taxes could be significantly higher in 2013: capital gains taxes (on sales of stock or a company) and dividend taxes.
For the wealthiest Americans, capital gains taxes could rise to 23.8% from 15%, while dividend taxes could rise to 43.4% from the current 15% rate.
To find those who stand to save the most on taxes this year, we looked at corporations where an individual or a family held a large concentration of outstanding shares. We then calculated the estimated tax rate this year and compared it to what these individuals or families might pay if taxes bumped up to the highest level in 2013.
The five individuals or families highlighted here might have avoided more than $1 billion in taxes thanks to their moves this year.
The fiscal cliff drama ranks as one of the biggest blunders of 2012.