Have you gotten the scary emails talking about a 3.8% real estate tax taking effect January 1st? I have. It’s easy to be freaked out by these emails because they make it sound like this 3.8% tax will work like a sales tax, meaning the seller of a $100,000 home would pay a $3,800 tax on the sale. That’s not how it works, though. Let me share some key points about it to clarify:
- If your total income is less than $200,000 ($250,000 on a joint tax return), you will not be impacted by this tax.
- Even if you make more than the $200,000/$250,000 amount, you still will be excluded from this tax if your gain on the sale of your house is less than $250,000 for a single filing or $500,000 for a married filing jointly filing.
- If you have to pay this tax, it’s only paid on the gain above that $250,000/$500,000 amount and it’s paid when you file your tax returns, not when you actually sell the home.
So how does this play out in real life? Let’s look at an example. If you are a married couple selling a home and you make $250,000 or less per year combined, this won’t impact you. If you make more than $250,000 but you selling the home for no more than $500,000 more than you paid for it, this won’t impact you.
But….if you and your spouse make over $250,000 per year and you are making more than a half million on the sale of your home, then you might pay some more taxes because of this new law.
Yea - We should all be so lucky. Overall, this isn’t going to impact many people in Michiana, so I wouldn’t invest much time in worrying about it. If you are one of the people that it actually impacts, you’re probably better of just being grateful that the real estate market has treated you so very very well. J