Lower Capital Gains Tax Rates and Low-Income Tax Bracket Taxpayers

There is a new, lower, capital-gains rate on investments held for more than five years. These rates are 8 percent or 18 percent, depending on the taxpayer’s income. This can save you a lot of tax money if you plan to hold your investment long-term.

Taxpayers in the 15 percent federal tax bracket are eligible for a capital gains tax rate of only 8 percent on sales of stock and other investment securities held more than five years. This is a reduction from the standard 10 percent rate taxpayers in the lower tax bracket paid on long-term gains from investments held more than one year but not more than five years.

For gifts of stock or other investment securities, calculating the length of time the asset is held depends on the donor’s ownership period added to the recipient’s period of ownership. In these cases, it can be much easier to meet the more-than-five-year rule and thereby qualify for the 8 percent rate. This rate applies only to five-year gains triggered by sales of assets on or after Jan. 1, 2001.


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