OCTOBER 14, 2009
Sorting Out Tax Effects in the Bill
By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS
Some questions and answers regarding the Senate Finance Committee health-care bill and how it affects taxes.
Q: Would the legislation raise my income taxes?
A: No. Unlike a House bill that would impose a surtax on the wealthiest Americans, the Senate Finance bill doesn’t directly raise income taxes on anyone.
Q: What’s the biggest tax in the bill?
A: A levy on employer health plans with annual premiums of more than $8,000 for an individual or $21,000 for a family. It would be levied on insurers and is set at 40% of the amount above the thresholds. The cutoffs are higher for retirees older than 55, some high-cost states and certain high-risk professions, such as firefighters. For plans above the threshold, “all or almost all” of the tax would likely be passed to employees in some form, says Len Burman, a Syracuse University public-affairs professor.