Obamacare Tax to start in 2013 – Will you pay a tax on your real estate sale?


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has put together a list of the top 10 things consumers need to know about the new 3.8% Tax on capital gains which will start in tax year 2013.

1) When you add up all of your income from every possible source, and that total is less than $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint tax return), you will NOT be subject to this tax.
2) The 3.8% tax will NEVER be collected as a transfer tax on real estate of any type, so you’ll NEVER pay this tax at the time that you purchase a home or other investment property.
3) You’ll NEVER pay this tax at settlement when you sell your home or investment property. Any capital gain you realize at settlement is just one component of that year’s gross income.
4) If you sell your principal residence, you will still receive the full benefit of the $250,000 (single tax return)/$500,000 (married filing joint tax return) exclusion on the sale of that home. If your capital gain is greater than these amounts, then you will include any gain above these amounts as income on
your Form 1040 tax return. Even then, if your total income (including this taxable portion of gain
on your residence) is less than the $200,000/$250,000 amounts, you will NOT pay this tax. If your
total income is more than these amounts, a formula will protect some portion of your investment.
5) The tax applies to other types of investment income, not just real estate. If your income is more
than the $200,000/$250,000 amount, then the tax formula will be applied to capital gains, interest
income, dividend income and net rents (i.e., rents after expenses).
6) The tax goes into effect in 2013. If you have investment income in 2013, you won’t pay the 3.8% tax
until you file your 2013 Form 1040 tax return in 2014. The 3.8% tax for any later year will be paid in
the following calendar year when the tax returns are filed.
7) In any particular year, if you have NO income from capital gains, rents, interest or dividends, you’ll
NEVER pay this tax, even if you have millions of dollars of other types of income.
The formula that determines the amount of 3.8% tax due will ALWAYS protect $200,000 ($250,000
on a joint return) of your income from any burden of the 3.8% tax. For example, if you are single
and have a total of $201,000 income, the 3.8% tax would NEVER be imposed on more than $1000.
9) It’s true that investment income from rents on an investment property could be subject to the 3.8%
tax. BUT: The only rental income that would be included in your gross income and therefore
possibly subject to the tax is net rental income: gross rents minus expenses like depreciation, interest,
property tax, maintenance and utilities.
10) The tax was enacted along with the health care legislation in 2010. It was added to the package just
hours before the final vote and without review. NAR strongly opposed the tax at the time, and
remains hopeful that it will not go into effect. The tax will no doubt be debated during the
upcoming tax reform debates in 2013. Here are the top ten facts you will need to know about the new tax on capital gains starting next year. This was implemented with the passage of the Obamacare health insurance legislation and could be unwelcome news for high income individuals.


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