Uncertainty Over Interpretation of the Unearned Income Medicare Contribution Tax

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2014-06-13
Authors
Harl, Neil
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As should have been expected when a new tax is enacted that does not track the contours of tax legislation then in place, the interpretation of the numerous provisions is likely to trigger numerous questions of who must pay the new tax.1 Although the 3.8 percent tax is paid, beginning in 2013, only by couples filing a joint return or a surviving spouse who earn more than $250,000 ($125,000 for married taxpayers filing separately) and $200,000 for other taxpayers,2 the additional tax burden has not gone unnoticed. As is often the case, the greater concern is in figuring out which “unearned income” is reached by the tax.

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