Thursday, June 28, 2012


Unless you live in a cave, by now you've heard that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." In an unexpected twist, the Court ruled that the controversial individual mandate is constitutional, but under the government's power to tax, rather than to regulate commerce.

We don't need to go into the details of the ruling itself -- just turn on your television, and somewhere, somebody is opining on it right now! But we do want to remind you the Court's decision means several new taxes
will go into effect as scheduled:

·         On January 1, 2013, the Medicare Tax will go up by 0.9% for individuals earning over $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers, $125,000 for married individuals filing separately).

·         Also on January 1, there will be a new "Unearned Income Medicare Contribution" of 3.8% on investment income, for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers).

·         Beginning on January 1, 2014, there will be a new $2,500 limit on tax-free contributions to flexible spending account.

·         Also beginning January 1, 2014 employers with more than 50 employees will face a penalty of $2,000 per employee for not offering health insurance to full-time employees.

·         Finally, the threshold for deducting medical and dental expenses rises from 7.5% of adjusted gross income to 10%. This will make these expenses even harder to deduct without help from advanced strategies like Health Savings Accounts or Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans.
That’s not all.  On January 1, 2013 the so called “Bush Rates” are repealed and we go back to the “Clinton Tax Rates.”  This change impacts every taxpayer.  So, while the constitutional issues of Obamacare may be settled, several planning challenges certainly remain. We'll be following developments carefully in order to help you navigate these new challenges. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 402.362.6636.  In addition, now that the Supreme Court has ruled we will be planning a local seminar and/or webinar to keep you informed.