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Determining if net investment income tax applies to you

ETROIT – If you have income from investments, you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. You may owe this tax if you receive investment income and your income for the year is more than certain limits.

The law requires a tax of 3.8 percent on the lesser of either your net investment income or the amount by which your modified adjusted gross income exceeds a threshold amount based on your filing status.

You may owe this tax if your modified adjusted gross income is more than the following amount for your filing status:

– Single or Head of household, $200,000.

– Married filing jointly, $250,000.

– Married filing separately, $125,000.

– Qualifying widow(er) with a child, $250,000.

This amount generally includes income such as interest, dividends, capital gains, rental and royalty income, and non-qualified annuities.

This list is not all-inclusive. Net investment income normally does not include wages and most self-employment income. It does not include unemployment compensation, Social Security benefits or alimony.

Refer to Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax, to see if this tax applies to you. You can check the form’s instructions for the details on how to figure the tax.

If you owe the tax, you must file Form 8960 with your federal tax return. If you had too little tax withheld or did not pay enough estimated taxes, you may have to pay an estimated tax penalty.

When you sell a capital asset the sale results in a capital gain or loss. A capital asset includes most property you own for personal use or own as an investment.

Here are some facts about capital gains:

1. Capital assets include property such as your home or car, as well as investment property, such as stocks and bonds.

2. A capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. Your basis is usually what you paid for the asset.

3. You must include all capital gains in your income and you may be subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. This tax applies to certain net investment income of individuals, estates and trusts that have income above statutory threshold amounts. The rate of this tax is 3.8 percent. For details visit IRS.gov.

4. You can deduct capital losses on the sale of investment property. You cannot deduct losses on the sale of property that you hold for personal use.

5. Capital gains and losses are either long-term or short-term, depending on how long you held the property. If you held the property for more than one year, your gain or loss is long-term. If you held it one year or less, the gain or loss is short-term.

6. If your long-term gains are more than your long-term losses, the difference between the two is a net long-term capital gain. If your net long-term capital gain is more than your net short-term capital loss, you have a net capital gain.

7. The capital gains tax rate usually depends on your income. The maximum net capital gain tax rate is 20 percent. However, for most taxpayers a zero or 15 percent rate will apply. A 25 or 28 percent tax rate can also apply to certain types of net capital gains.

8. If your capital losses are more than your capital gains, you can deduct the difference as a loss on your tax return. This loss is limited to $3,000 per year, or $1,500 if you are married and file a separate return.

9. If your total net capital loss is more than the limit you can deduct, you can carry over the losses you are not able to deduct to next year’s tax return. You will treat those losses as if they happened in that next year.

10. You often will need to file Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, with your federal tax return to report your gains and losses. You also need to file Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses with your tax return.