Currently, wage earners pay a Medicare tax of 1.45%, which is automatically taken out of their paychecks. Employers pay a matching 1.45% rate. Those taxes won't change.That means that couples filing jointly who make more than $250,000 combined will have to pay that additional 0.9 percent, because it won't be automatically withheld. Other new fees/taxes kicking in are a new tax deduction cap of $2,500 on flexible spending accounts, and for medical-device manufacturers, a 2.3 percent tax on products. All this is in preparation for 2014, when the health insurance exchanges are open for business and subsidies begin.
But come Jan. 1, individuals earning more than $200,000 in wages and married couples with wages of more than $250,000 will pay an additional payroll tax of 0.9% for Medicare on income that exceeds those amounts.
Employers will be able to deduct the extra 0.9% tax for individual employees on the portion of income that exceeds $200,000, but they won't be allowed to withhold additional payroll taxes to account for a combined income.
With or without going over the fiscal