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A Taxing Story: Capital Gains and Losses

February 20, 2024

A Taxing Story: Capital Gains and Losses

Chris Rock once remarked, “You don’t pay taxes – they take taxes.” That applies not only to income but also to capital gains.

Capital gains result when an individual sells an investment for an amount greater than their purchase price. Capital gains are categorized as short-term gains (a gain realized on an asset held one year or less) or long-term gains (a gain realized on an asset held longer than one year).

Keep in mind that the information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Gains

Short-term capital gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Long-term capital gains are taxed according to different ranges (shown below).1

Long Term Capital Gains Tax Brackets (for 2024)
Tax Bracket/Rate
Single
Married Filing Jointly
Head of Household
0%$0 - $47,025$0 - $94,050$0 - $63,000
15%$47,026 - $518,900$94,051 - $583,750$63,001 - $551,350
20%$518,900+$583,750+$551,350+

It should also be noted that taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is in excess of $200,000 (single filers or heads of household) or $250,000 (joint filers) may be subject to an additional 3.8% tax as a net investment income tax.2

Also, keep in mind that the long-term capital gains rate for collectibles and precious metals remains at a maximum of 28%.3

Rules for Capital Losses

Capital losses may be used to offset capital gains. If the losses exceed the gains, up to $3,000 of those losses may be used to offset the taxes on other kinds of income. Should you have more than $3,000 in such capital losses, you may be able to carry the losses forward. You can continue to carry forward these losses until such time that future realized gains exhaust them. Under current law, the ability to carry these losses forward is lost only on death.4

Finally, for some assets, the calculation of a capital gain or loss may not be as simple and straightforward as it sounds. As with any matter dealing with taxes, individuals are encouraged to seek the counsel of a tax professional before making any tax-related decisions.
 

The information provided in this alert is not, is not intended to be, and shall not be construed to be, either the provision of legal advice or an offer to provide legal services, nor does it necessarily reflect the opinions of the firm, our lawyers or our clients. This is not legal advice. No client-lawyer relationship between you and our lawyers is or may be created by your use of this information. Rather, the content is intended as a general overview of the subject matter covered. Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP is not obligated to provide updates on the information presented herein. Those reading this alert are encouraged to seek direct counsel on legal questions. © 2023 Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP. All Rights Reserved.

About Alera Group 

Alera Group is an independent, national insurance and wealth services firm with more than $1.1 billion in annual revenue, offering comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, retirement plan services and wealth services solutions to clients nationwide. By working collaboratively across specialties and geographies, Alera Group’s team of more than 4,000 professionals in more than 180 locations provides creative, competitive services that help ensure a client’s business and personal success. For more information, visit https://aleragroup.com/ or follow us on LinkedIn.

Sources

  1. IRS.gov, 2024
  2. IRS.gov, 2024
  3. Investopedia.com, November 28, 2023
  4. IRS.gov, 2024