US President Barack Obama called on Monday for a one-year extension of tax cuts for families earning less than $US250,000 per year.
Taxes will rise from 1 January for virtually all households in the United States if Congress does not pass new legislation.
''I believe that it is time to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans - folks like myself - expire,'' Mr Obama said at the White House.
''I'm not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that anybody making over $US250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under (President) Bill Clinton, back when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs and the biggest budget surplus in history."
Taxes will play a crucial role in the election in November. Mr Obama argues that tax cuts for high earners should be allowed to expire.
He will campaign in Iowa on Tuesday, where he will seek to draw a sharp contrast over the issue with Republican candidate George Romney.