The Truth About the So-Called
“National Transfer Tax”

Rumors are swirling about an impending national transfer tax? Or is it a real estate sales tax?  Everyone is talking about it and scrambling to learn more. Relax! There is NO national transfer tax on the way. Let us explain this new tax and clarify when it is applicable.  

As we reported in our June newsletter, included in The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 signed into law on March 30, 2010 is an "Unearned Income Medicare Contribution" that imposes a 3.8% tax on all unearned income, including any profit on the sale of real estate.   It is not a real estate sales tax or national transfer tax.  Depending on your income level, the new tax will apply to all unearned income you have regardless of whether or not it is related to real estate. 

As part of the new health care reform law, the new Medicare Tax will go into effect on January 1, 2013 and will require high income households to pay 3.8% on all investment income.  Generally, this tax will affect individuals with a gross annual income exceeding $200,000 and married couples exceeding $250,000.  Some examples of investment income subject to this new tax include capital gains, interest, annuities, royalties and rents. 

Increased Medicare Payroll Deduction May be Coming Also

Also keep in mind that the Medicare deduction from your paycheck may also increase.  Currently, the Medicare payroll tax is 2.9% on all wages with you paying half and your employer paying half.  Beginning in 2012, high-income individuals will pay another 0.9% for a total of 2.35%.