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New Taxes in 2013: What You'll Pay

Medicare taxesThe New Year's Day compromise on the fiscal cliff was designed to prevent massive tax increases from taking effect that many feared would devastate the economy. Yet even with the compromise, several new taxes in 2013 will raise tax bills for millions of Americans, and the groups that are the most affected by the changing of the calendar may surprise you.

Here's a list of new taxes that took effect as of Jan. 1:

Payroll Taxes: Returning to Old Levels

For the past two years, just about everyone who has a job got a tax break of 2 percentage points on the Social Security taxes withheld from their paychecks. But on Jan. 1, the rate of tax withheld from employee paychecks rose from 4.2% to 6.2%, representing about a $1,000 tax increase for typical families earning $50,000. Already, anyone who's received a paycheck in 2013 has likely seen the impact of this tax, with those who get paid twice a month having about $40 extra taken out under the FICA on their paychecks.

Few analysts expected the fiscal cliff negotiations to extend this tax break further. But given that it hits at just about everyone, it could have the biggest impact of any of the new taxes in 2013.

Medicare Surcharge

High-income earners will see a brand-new tax this year. Single filers earning more than $200,000 and joint filers with income over $250,000 could be subject to two new taxes.

With one tax, if your earned income goes above the threshold, then you'll owe an extra 0.9% of your earnings in Medicare withholding. In some cases, this additional money may be taken directly out of your paycheck, although for joint filers, your employer may not be able to do so accurately because it doesn't know what your spouse earns in order to get the calculation correct.

The second tax applies to investment income, including interest, dividends, and capital gains. For this income, you'll owe an extra tax of 3.8% for any amount that exceeds the threshold. The idea behind this part of the new tax is to treat investment income for high-income earners the same way as earned income, making both types of income subject to the same higher Medicare tax rate.

New Tax Brackets and Rates for High-Income Earners

The biggest news from the fiscal cliff compromise was the return of the 39.6% tax rate for singles earning more than $400,000 and joint filers with income above $450,000. This rate is a carryover from the old rate structure that existed before the tax cuts of the early 2000s and represents a 4.6 percentage point rise from the old 35% rate.

In addition, taxpayers whose earnings are above these thresholds will see their taxes on dividends and capital gain income rise from 15% to 20%. Given that dividend rates could have risen as high as the 39.6% ordinary income tax rate, investors were fairly pleased with the eventual outcome.

Disappearing Deductions and Other Hidden Taxes

In addition to the explicit increases in taxes, some old provisions are back that will have the same tax-increasing impact. In particular, two separate rules that phase out certain deductions for high-income taxpayers came back this year after having been absent from tax law since 2009.

The phase-outs target two areas: personal exemptions and itemized deductions. One rule, known as the PEP, reduces the value of your personal exemptions by 2% for every $2,500 in additional income you earn over thresholds of $250,000 for singles and $300,000 for joint filers. The other rule, called the Pease phaseout, cuts the amount you can claim in itemized deductions by 3% of the amount of additional income you earn over those same thresholds, subject to a maximum reduction of 80% of your itemized deductions.

Those calculations are a bit complicated, but the net result is that you can end up paying thousands of extra dollars in taxes by losing the value of those deductions.

Finally, the estate tax rate rose from 35% to 40% this year. With the $5 million exemption made permanent, however, the impact of the tax will be limited to far fewer families than would have paid tax without the fiscal cliff compromise.

Start Planning

These new taxes for 2013 won't make anyone happy, but by knowing about them early on, you can start planning for them right away. Doing so may not let you reduce your tax bill too much, but it'll at least get you prepared for the hit to your paycheck and your tax refund next year.

The article New Taxes in 2013: What You'll Pay originally appeared on Fool.com.

For more tax information and advice, visit The Tax Center on DailyFinance.


Fool contributor Dan Caplinger appreciates your comments. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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dede4007

We were told that our taxes were NOT going to go up. Obama said he "saved" the middle class. REALLY? We don't make anything NEAR 250K a year and our taxes have already gone up almost 2 grand. (we make WAY under 100K) You LIED Mr. Obama.

February 04 2013 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nekima

So to sum up, the article is saying spend less and put less back into the economy because the crooks in government want more of the money you worked for so they can spend more.

February 04 2013 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mb1958

Obama is not truthful and is not transparent but why should all his lies bother us? Just keep paying until there are no more of us to bleed to support the minorities who love to vote for Obama. Romney was a bigger bum and the entire Congress is corrupt. Solution: we vote all of them out at re- election time. We send honest non - politicians to Washington for ONE term and then without getting rich they go home to their real jobs. We keep doing this until we have honest citizens in Congresds. At present every oneof the bums we send to washington are bought and paid for prior to arriving in D.C. Corparations own these bums and they could care less about you and I. When you stop all the sillyness about Dems and GOP you will have figured it out they are all the same- bad actors, most should be in a federal prison. You send thesame bums to Washington over and over- they steal from us and hurt us. These are professional politicians who live their lives in Washington not in your state. Please wake up before we loose our wonderful country. Where do you think Obama got his traing and from who Chicagos very corrupt mayors Daily and the Illinois machine. Only four of their governors have gone to prison it should have been a lot more.

February 04 2013 at 12:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Mike Kuhne

iT''''''S EASY TO FIGURE YOUR TAXES ;UNDER THE OBAMANATION ADMINISTRATION
1) HOW MUCH DID YOU MAKE LAST YEAR?
2) HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE LEFT?
3) SEND IN #2

January 31 2013 at 12:20 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
komansentz

Surprise liberals. You voted for more taxes and now you're going to get it in the wallet.

January 31 2013 at 12:06 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
uc1912

Thank you Mr Predsident.

January 30 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to uc1912's comment
Nekima

some day he will be gone and go down as one of the worst who spoke a good game.

February 04 2013 at 3:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zekemire

Just look at the absolute lunacy of just these 2 or 3 things! Then imagine the whole tax code! WHAT STUPIDITY!!!

January 30 2013 at 11:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet

It's only the high income that is getting taxed more...doesn't affect me

January 30 2013 at 10:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Janet's comment
hillbilly

What did that LIAR Obama say: "No one making less that $250,000 will see any increase in taxes, not payroll tax, not income tax, not any taxes.." Well I suggest you check you pay stubs and what your federal taxes were last year asd what they are this year.. Check your Social Security taxes, also up.. Hell I might as well not have gotten a raise last year... As a matter of fact I make less money this first month of 2013 than I made the last month of 2012.. On the same amount of hours worked.. The government is jacking us all...

January 30 2013 at 10:46 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
KATHI AND JOHN

we have to pay for obamie's friends

January 30 2013 at 9:55 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply