Additional Medicare Tax: Introduction

Starting January 1, 2013, Additional Hospital Insurance Tax (Additional Medicare Tax) will come to life as a result of section 9015 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (as amended).

In essence, PPACA increased the existing Medicare tax for high-income earners. Currently, the Medicare tax rate is a flat 2.9% tax on all wage and self-employment income. Starting January 1, 2013, the flat 2.9% Medicare tax is likely to continue to apply to wages under the threshold amount (see below). However, PPACA imposes Additional Medicare Tax on wages, compensation and self-employment income above a certain threshold amount received after December 31, 2012. The tax rate is 0.9 percent.

The threshold amount depends on your filing status as indicated below:

Married filing jointly $250,000
Married filing separately $125,000
Single $200,000
Head of household (with qualifying person) $200,000
Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child $200,000

It is important to remember that Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 further expands the Medicare tax by imposing a 3.8% Medicare tax on investment income – the so-called “unearned income Medicare contribution tax”. The details of this tax increase are discussed in another article.