The Truth About The Real Estate Transfer Tax

The Truth About The Real Estate Transfer TaxThere have been rampant rumours circulating online that the health care reform law includes a 3.8% transfer tax on all real estate transactions starting in 2013.

It’s just not true. While a new 3.8 percent tax will take effect in 2013, it affects only a very narrow band of investment income for those who earn $250k in a joint return or $200k as an individual. In real estate, the tax could come into play on the sale of a house, but only if the sales gain is more than $500k for a married couple or $250k for an individual. Even in the unlikely event that a sales gain is more than that, the tax would only apply based on other considerations having to do with the household’s income and tax situation. The bottom line is that the tax, which was imposed to help shore up Medicare, will hit only some portion of investment income.

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has created a brochure that explains how the 3.8 percent tax works in various scenarios.