E-mail this page E-mail this




Affordable Care Jacked


Claim:   A bevy of tax increases were quietly imposed upon Americans in July 2014 due to the Affordable Care Act.

MOSTLY FALSE

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, August 2014]

DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU 7-1-2014?

Here is what happened on July 1st 2014:

Top Income Tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%

Top Income Payroll Tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%

Capital Gains Tax went from 15% to 28%

Dividend Tax went from 15% to 39.6%

Estate Tax went from 0% to 55%

These taxes were all passed under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. All these taxes were passed with only Democrat votes. Not one Republican voted to do these taxes.

Remember this come election time.
 

Origins:   This item about a collection of U.S. tax increases which were supposedly enacted as of 1 July 2014 due to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act was circulated widely in mid-2014, but it was merely an updated version of identical claims which had been circulated earlier in the year that set 1 January 2014 as the imposition date for those tax increases:

THE FIRST THREE MONTHS!

Happy New Year America

Here is what happened on January 1st 2014:

Top Income Tax bracket went from 35% to 39.6%

Top Income Payroll Tax went from 37.4% to 52.2%

Capital Gains Tax went from 15% to 28%

Dividend Tax went from 15% to 39.6%

Estate Tax went from 0% to 55%

Remember this 'fact;' if you have any money, the Democrats want it! All these taxes were passed with only Democrat votes. Not one Republican voted to do these taxes. Remember this come election time. And make sure your friends and neighbors know this info too!

These taxes were all passed under the affordable care act, otherwise known as Obama care.
 

At the height of the tax season in 2014, the intensity of circulation of the original item increased, with the date polished up to make it appear as if this ominous list of tax jumps newly (and quietly) hit Americans in July 2014.

Although the tax increases listed in this item did come to pass, they took effect at the beginning of 2013 (not 2014), were completely unrelated to the Affordable Care Act, applied only to very high-income earners, and have been overstated in this list. These tax hikes were enacted through the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, a compromise bill pushed through Congress as a partial resolution to the then-looming "fiscal cliff" crisis. Under the provisions of that bill:
  • The top marginal federal income tax rate increased from 35% to 39.6%
  • The top marginal tax rate on long-term capital gains increased from 15% to 20% (not 28%).
  • The top marginal tax rate on dividends increased from 15% to 20% (not 39.6%).
  • Estate taxes increased from 35% of an estate's value in excess of $5,120,000 (in 2012) to 40% of the value above $5,340,000 (in 2014).
It's important to note that the increase in marginal tax rates for federal income tax, capital gains, and dividends affected only those persons with taxable incomes over a $400,000 (single)/$450,000 (married) threshold. It's also important to note that the previous estate tax rate of 0% was a special rule that applied only to the estates of persons who died in 2010 (the estate tax has since been increased to 35% for those who died in 2011 and 40% for those who died in 2012 and thereafter), and even today an estate tax filing is required only for estates with gross assets in excess of $5 million (indexed for inflation).

The list's reference to an "income payroll tax" increase from 37.4% to 52.2% is something of a mystery, as this is not a standard term for any type of government income- or payroll-related tax. The only adjustment to payroll-related taxes resulting from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was that a two-year old cut to payroll taxes which had previously reduced the rate from 6.2% to 4.2% for 2011 and 2012 was not extended.

Additionally, this item's coda claiming that "not one Republican voted to do these taxes" is completely false. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed Congress by a margin of 89-8 in the Senate with 40 Republican votes in favor, and a margin of 257-167 in the House with 85 Republican votes in favor. (The original claim undoubtedly refers to the House or Representatives' voting in 2010 to pass the health-care reform bill without a single Republican vote in favor, but that association is moot because, as noted, the tax increases listed above had nothing to do with that bill.)


Last updated:   26 August 2014

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2014 by snopes.com.
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.