Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The 3.8% Solution...Debunking a Conservative Meme
Conservative bloggers are devoted to winkling out shocking ‘facts’ that discredit the President or his administration. Well, who can blame’s hell to lose an election and the Republicans seem hellbent on doing it again.
I have no objection to criticizing the President; done it myself, loads of times. Conservatives have the same privilege, but they are under a reasonable obligation to get their facts right.
An e-mail is being widely circulated that says something like the following: "Due to Obamacare, did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it?  That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc.” 
If left at that you’d think that Mr. and Mrs. Working  Stiff were going to be taxed 3.8% on the sale of their modest subdivision home. I’d be shocked, too...except it isn’t true.
There will be some taxing going on, but it will not be a sales tax on all home sales. Like all tax legislation this is complex. Here’s how Rob Chrisman, writing at Mortgage News Daily explains it :

Congress did approve, however, and the president did sign, a bill authorizing a 3.8% tax on the capital gains (unearned income) on real estate transactions over the existing $500,000 exemption for married couples ($250,000 for singles). Couples have to make more than $250,000 in adjusted gross income for the tax to apply to them (singles more than $200,000). And it isn't very common these days to find married couples making more than $250,000 a year, who then also made more than $500,000 in profits on their house sale.
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