Taxes

Obama Tax Fears Actually Help Rich Get Richer

More than 150 companies announce special dividends before expected tax increases in 2013

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The wealthy look set to enjoy a windfall in the closing weeks of the year as companies push money out the door to beat the higher tax rates advocated by President Barack Obama.

More than 150 companies, from Costco Wholesale Corp. to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), have declared special dividends totaling about $20 billion this quarter to avoid anticipated tax increases in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Others, including law and private-equity firms, probably will pay bonuses, partnership distributions and commissions early for tax reasons, according to Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey.