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Net Investment Income Tax - By John R. Bullis, CPA

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

It is bad enough to pay income tax but Form 8960, Net Investment Income Tax for Individuals, Estates and Trust is an additional amount to pay in certain circumstances.

That form computes the extra 3.8% Medicare tax that applies if the “passive income from interest, dividends, annuities, and some rental income, royalties, some partnership, S corporation and trust income that is not trade or business income” is big enough.

The Net Investment income does not include trade or business income or wages.

It does not apply to non-resident aliens.

It does not usually apply to S corporation income because that is usually trade or business income.

Real estate professionals with rental income will usually not be taxed if they materially participated in the rental real estate activity.

Dispositions (sales) of interest ownership in partnerships or S corporations is usually not subject to the Net Investment Income Tax. If the basis of the item sold is different for the Net Investment Income Tax than the basis for regular income tax, then an adjustment is to be calculated.

It is good that interest earned by a trade or business is excluded from the computation.

The twenty pages of instructions for Form 8960 are complicated and sometimes refer you to other forms and/or publications. This extra tax is complicated, but it collects a lot of money.

The tax computation on that form results in the additional Medicare tax that is then reported on Form 1040, page 2, line 54 for year 2017.

If your Net Investment Income is less than your “Modified Adjusted Gross Income” and the “Threshold Based on your Filing Status” ($250,000 for Married Filing Jointly, $200,000 for Single or Head of Household filing status) then the Net Investment Income Tax is zero. This extra tax if mainly for folks with ‘high’ income.

This extra tax does not apply for most taxpayers. It is just another way Congress charges more tax on high income taxpayers.

Did you hear “Instead of focusing on that circumstance that you can not change, focus strongly and powerfully on the circumstances that you can change.” Joy Page

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