Wed., May 16, 2012 1:53pm EDT (Reuters) — President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law contains a slew of new tax provisions, and their fate is unclear as the Supreme Court weighs the law's constitutionality.
Some have been put into effect in the two years since Obama signed the law, including a tanning salon tax and tax credits for small businesses. Other provisions will be phased in over time.
A ruling on the law is expected in late June. Here is a look at major tax provisions in Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Small business tax credits. For businesses with fewer than 25 workers and average annual wages of less than $50,000 a person, the credit is meant to offset the costs of health care coverage provided by the businesses. Set now at up to 35% of employer contribution for small employers and 25% for tax-exempt employers, the credit will rise by 2014 to up to 50%.
Drugmaker fees. An annual fee on drugmakers based on sales and market share, this will raise $2.8 billion in government revenue for 2012-2013, rising to $4.1 billion in 2018. The fee then ticks back down to raise $2.8 billion in 2019 and later.
Medical device excise tax. An excise tax of 2.3% on sales of medical devices is levied on manufacturers, which are responsible for reporting and paying the tax.
Tanning salon tax. A 10% excise tax on consumer payments to indoor tanning salons, it is collected by the salons at the time of service and passed onto the government.
Beginning in 2013
Medicare insurance tax increase for wealthy. This is an increase in the Medicare hospital insurance payroll tax rate for individuals with incomes exceeding $200,000, or married couples making more than $250,000. The rate will rise to 2.35% of wages from its current level of 1.45%.
Unearned income tax. This is a new tax on investment income such as capital gains and dividends of 3.8%, on top of the current 15% tax, also for higher-income groups.
Beginning in 2014
Individual mandate penalty fee. Under the "individual mandate" portion of the health care law, Americans must have health insurance or pay a fee to the Internal Revenue Service. The fee will be $95, or 1% of taxable household income, in 2014. By 2016, it will rise in phases to $695 per person, with a cap that equals the greater of $2,085 per family or 2.5% of household income.
Employer mandate fee. Under the health care law, companies with more than 50 workers must pay the IRS $2,000 for each full-time employee they do not provide health coverage. The first 30 employees are excluded from the fee.
Health care premium tax credit. This is a credit, based on a percentage of income, for low and middle income individuals to help them buy insurance in state-run insurance marketplaces.
Health insurers fee. The government will collect revenue from health plans, beginning by raising $8 billion in 2014 and ramping up to raise $14.3 billion in 2018. Subsequent years' fees will be based on the rate of premium growth.
"Cadillac" health plan tax. This is a tax of 40% above threshold amounts on what are considered expensive policies. The tax, imposed on the insurer, is based on the value of plans with coverage costing more than $10,200 in benefits for individuals and $27,500 for families. Effective in 2018.
(Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Vicki Allen)
© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.
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