Clients worried about a new 3.8% real estate tax to start in 2013
There is in fact a new 3.8% tax starting next year and it is quite complicated, but it will affect an extremely small number of people. There’s a very good FAQ from the National Association of Realtors about the new tax.
The 3.8 tax applies only to very high earners who experience very large gains on real estate transactions
Additionally, seller must have a gain (profit) from the real estate sale of more than $250,000 if a single person or more than $500,000 if a married couple. Even then, only the amount of the gain ABOVE the $250 or $500K threshold is subject to the new 3.8% tax.
The NAR has also published a booklet that outlines a few scenarios in which the tax will be due (you will notice right away how unusual these scenarios are). Basically, you have to have a very high adjusted gross income and make a very large profit (gain) off the sale of your home to be affected by the tax.
If you feel you may be affected by this tax, you should consult a tax attorney. And you may want to try to sell this year rather than next!