Q. Is there a big new tax on home sales that is supposed to raise money to pay for health reform?
A. Readers from South Carolina to Washington state report there's an e-mail going around warning about the dire consequences of a new real estate tax included in the health reform law. They worry that more taxes will make it tougher to sell their homes. But the information they received leaves out some key details, including the fact that most people won't have to pay it.
It's true that, starting in 2013, the health reform law adds a 3.8 percent tax on unearned income such as investment or rental income, or the profit from the sale of a home. But there are two important exceptions to the tax: You only pay taxes on profit from a home sale above $250,000 for single people or $500,000 for couples. And the tax applies only to those wealthy Americans with individual incomes over $200,000 or over $250,000 for couples.