Congratualtions to Jill Sample from Granite Ridge Builders who won the Chili Cook-off sponsored by the Upstate Alliance of REALTORS® to benefit Habitat for Humanity. The "Celebrity Judges" and the REALTOR tasters highly recommended her seasonally appropriate "Pumpkin and Pork" Chili. Neal Sherk from North Eastern Group Realy also participated and had a fabulous traditional...
Rumors about the 3.8% Medicare tax continue to circulate. Here’s the definitive word on what’s true and what’s not on how the tax impacts real estate.
Despite the fear that many have about the 3.8% tax, it will in fact affect very few home sales, because it’s a tax that will only affect high-income households that realize a substantial gain on an asset sale, including on a home sale, once other factors are taken into account. 2-3 percent of home sellers are likely to be affected.
The tax will affect so few home sellers because so many different pieces must fall into place a certain way for the tax to apply. First, any home sale gain must be more than the $250,000-$500,000 capital gains exclusion that’s in effect today. That’s gain, not sales amount, so you really have to reap a substantial amount of profit on your home for the tax to even come into play. Very few people are walking away with a gain of more than half a million dollars today, even in the high-end home market, so right off the bat only a few home sellers would be a candidate for the tax.
For the few households that do see a gain of more than the $250,000-$500,000 exclusion (that’s $250,000 for single filers and $500,000 for joint filers), only the amount above the exclusion would be factored into the tax calculation, and that would still only apply to high-income households, which the law defines as single people earning $200,000 a year and joint filers earning $250,000 a year.
So, if you are a households with annual income of $250,000 or more and you earn a gain of more than $500,000 on your house (again, that’s after the $500,000 exclusion), any amount of gain above the exclusion would be plugged into a formula to see if it’s taxable. If it turns out that it’s taxable, then the amount could be subject to the 3.8 percent tax. If the household had a gain of more than $500,000 but only earned $249,000 a year in income, the tax wouldn’t apply.
(Note that these are just hypothetical examples. To know if a case would really be subject to the tax, a professional tax preparer or tax attorney has to look at all the particulars of the tax filer’s case. Only a tax professional is in a position to say the tax is applicable, but the examples cited here could help you get a sense of how the tax works.)
The other thing about the tax worth noting is that, although it takes effect in 2013, any impact on taxes wouldn’t happen until 2014. That’s because the tax filer would do the calculation in 2014 for the 2013 tax year. Because it’s not a tax on a real estate sale but rather on a capital gain, it’s not calculated at the time of an asset sale, whether that asset is a house or something else. It’s calculated at the time the filer figures his or her tax.
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North Eastern Group Realty is Fort Wayne’s largest independent real estate company located at 10808 La Cabreah Lane, Fort Wayne, IN 46845.