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Special Report

Morningstar.com's Tax-Relief Week 2013

February 25 - March 1: Tips, strategies, and picks for tax-wise investing.

"The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets." --Will Rogers

Will Rogers' quote was set on its head recently as wrangling over the fiscal cliff, debt and deficit issues put U.S. investors' potential tax rates in limbo as 2012 drew to a contentious close.

In this peculiar situation, Congress not meeting (and agreeing to a compromise) would have meant broad automatic tax hikes, as several tax cuts were set to expire at the beginning of 2013. (With the estate tax exemption also set for a dramatic decrease, one could say Congress had the potential to make death a little bit worse, too, at least for your heirs.)