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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Return of the False Tax Claims

Every once in a while bogus emails get revised, recycled – and widely recirculated.

That is happening now with a viral email that purports to list income tax increases that take effect this year and that “were all passed under the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare” without Republican votes.

We first wrote about this email last year. As we said at that time, “Some of these figures aren’t accurate, and none of these increases took effect on Jan. 1, 2014, or had anything to do with the Affordable Care Act. And the claim that ‘not one Republican voted to do these’ is false.”

In fact, the tax increases listed in that email were part of the “fiscal cliff” package that passed Congress with bipartisan support.

We are now getting inundated with questions from readers about a 2015 version of the same email. This revised email has a new date (January 2015, instead of January 2014) and one additional tax claim. It says, “Top Medicare tax went from 1.45% to 2.35%.”

The Medicare tax increase was part of the Affordable Care Act – the only tax listed in the email that was – but it took effect in January 2013, not this year. And it applies only to those who earn more than $250,000 for married couples who file jointly, $125,000 for married couples who file separately and $200,000 for all others.

Otherwise, the email is the same one we wrote about last year. Our tax advice hasn’t changed: Hit the delete button.

— Eugene Kiely