Begginning in 2013, a new tax will hit some households when owners sell a vacation home or profit when selling stock. Taxpayers who have incomes of more than $200,000 if single or more than $250,000 for joint filers would be subject to an additional 3.8 percent tax if they sell a second home, a vacation home, stock or other investments in 2013. However, someone who makes less than $100,000 could face this tax if his/her net gains exceed set thresholds.
It's a complex new tax, so if you plan to sell a second home or a large chunk of stock, you should talk to an accountant about how the tax might be triggered. In regards to the sales of homes in particular, Barbara Weltman, who is an attorney and the other of "J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks," says don't worry about gains on the sale of your main home.
Only the gain that exceeds your home-sale exclusion—which is $250,000 for a single filer and $500,000 for a joint filer, is affected by the new tax—and that situation doesn't apply to most homeowners.