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Fact or fiction? The health-care law and real estate tax

July 23, 2010  |  by John Heithaus

Last weekend’s Washington Post, always a fountain of interesting things, ran this article. For more, go to: http://bit.ly/bKXfWX

Rumors are flying that the health-care legislation Congress passed this year will impose a sales tax on all real estate sales. But the rumors are based only partly on fact. Although there is a new tax, it will not apply to everyone, and existing tax breaks for home sales will remain in place.

The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which President Obama signed into law March 30, is comprehensive and complex. Section 1402, “Unearned Income Medicare Contribution,” imposes a 3.8 percent tax on profits from the sale of real estate — residential or investment.

But the levy is aimed at high-income taxpayers, leaving most people untouched. And it will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2013.

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