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Tax Tips For Capital Gains And Losses

Investments are a part of a working person’s life. People invest to save tax and to create a fund for retirement or lean times. When filling tax returns one needs to understand many subtle differences in different kinds of investments. A capital gain is the difference between what you paid for an investment and what you received when it matured or you sold it. If what you paid was more than what you received the transaction become a capital loss. Capital investments are basically money kept in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, real estate, precious metals, coins, fine art, and collectibles.

Most people choose to invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds through a tax-deferred retirement plans like Individual Retirement Accounts IRA, Roth IRA, and 401 K plans. When such investments grow they are not taxed but tax deferred until the money is withdrawn. When the plan matures or you decide to withdraw you must check with current tax laws as to what applies when filing your annual tax return.

According to tax professionals every individual must create a system by which they maintain immaculate records of tax investments. This will become a part of tax return filing systems. You could opt for a system created by experts at http://taxes.about.com/od/capitalgains/a/Cap_Gain_Worksh.htm .

All information pertaining to capital gains or losses must be filled in Form 1040 Schedule D. All fees and commissions paid as well as purchase price must be computed into a single figure known as cost basis. Form 1040 Schedule D is a spreadsheet and has details as well as the sum total of all capital gains or losses.

Tax rules for capital gains vary and depend on several variants such as kind of investment and period held.

For example:

  • Short term capital gains are those with a holding period of one year or less. The tax rate for ordinary tax payers is about 35%.

  • Long term capital gains are investments with a holding period of more than one year. The tax rate is 5% for those tax payers in the 10-15% tax brackets; the rate rises to 15% for tax payers in the 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% tax brackets.

  • For collectibles with a holding period of one year or less the STCG tax rates are 35%. In case of investment in collectibles for over a year the tax rate is 28%.

  • In case of small business stock gains with holding period of more than five years the tax bracket is 28%.

  • Real estate investments attract different rates based on costs and holding periods. For one year or less the capital gains tax is applicable the same as STCG that is 35%. For more than a year the tax bracket lowers and varies from 5-15%.

  • To understand capital investment and gains as well as taxes to be paid one must read the in depth information provided on the IRS website, see: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=106799,00.html .

    Filing of tax returns or computing of taxes can be made easy if you take the trouble of educating yourself and staying abreast of new developments in tax laws. The World Wide Web has thousands of articles and tips on taxation and filing of tax returns by finance gurus from all over the world. So get tax savvy by surfing the internet.

    About Author:

    Barry Allen is a freelance writer for Online Tax Firm, the premier website to find tax, return tax, tax software, free tax filing, sales tax, services tax,income tax, property tax and many more.

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