- joint filers with income >$250,000 (singles >$200,000)
- an additional 3.8% tax on interest, dividends, and capital gains IN ADDITION to all other taxes due on this income
The tax, which took effect January 1, applies to the "net investment income" of married joint filers who have more than $250,000 of income (or $200,000 for singles). Only investment income—such as dividends, interest and capital gains—above the thresholds is taxed. The rate is a flat 3.8% in addition to other taxes owed.
"Affluent investors who ignore this tax will be in for a total shock next April 15," says David Lifson, a certified public accountant specializing in tax at Crowe Horwath in New York. Such income is typically not subject to withholding, and people won't be factoring it into their estimated taxes. Lower-bracket taxpayers who receive a windfall large enough to owe the tax will also be in for a surprise.The linked story goes into much more detail.