While the debate over the fiscal cliff swirls in Washington, D.C., many Americans may be unaware of a tax that is scheduled to go into effect January 1 as part of the health-care law. Known as the unearned income Medicare contribution tax, the tax imposes a 3.8 percent levy on interest, dividends, capital gains and passive business income received by taxpayers exceeding $200,000 (or $250,000 for couples). However, the proceeds will be paid into the general treasury and has no financial link to Medicare, says Alan D. Viard of the American Enterprise Institute.
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