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PostHeaderIcon Tax Planning for 2013 – Medicare Tax on Unearned Income

While we have a number of expiring tax provisions, we also have a few new ones.  This one is courtesy of the 2010 Health Care bill (Obamacare) and it puts into place a medicare tax on unearned income which starts 1/1/2013.  The tax rate is 3.8% and it’s on the lower of the persons’ net investment income or their modified adjusted gross income over a certain limit.  Investment income includes interest, dividends, capital gains, annuities, royalties, rents and pass through income like income from K-1′s from S-Corporations and partnerships.

The modified AGI limits are $250,000 for married filing jointly and qualified widows or widowers, $200,000 for head of household and single tax payers and $125,000 if you file married filing separately.  Finally, if you’re an employee and your salary is over those threshold amounts, you get hit with an additional medicare tax of 0.9% which brings it up to the tax on unearned income of 3.8%.

What’s interesting is they’re creeping into making S-Corporation income subject to payroll taxes.  You have to be over the threshold but once you’re over, it makes the difference between a salary and a distribution a little bit less enticing.