A Simple Plan For Researching Returns
Reducing Your Capital Gains Tax
On top of paying income tax and payroll tax, people buying and selling personal and investment assets also need to deal with the capital gains tax system. Capital gain rates can be about as much as regular income taxes. The good news is there are strategies to bring them lower.
The following are useful tips that help you minimize your capital gains tax:
Wait at least one year before selling.
To qualify capital gains for long-term status (and a tax rate cut), wait until a calendar year has passed before you sell your property. Depending on your tax rate, you may be able to save 10% to 20%. For instance, if you sell stock where the capital gain is $2,000, belong to the 28% income tax bracket, and have held the stock for over a year, you’ll have to pay 15% of $2,000 on the transaction. If you’ve owned the stock for barely a year, you’ll pay $560, which is 28% of $2,000, on the transaction.
Sell when your earnings are low.
Your income level influences the amount of long-term capital gains tax you need to pay. Individuals falling under the 10% and 15% brackets don’t even need to pay any long-term capital gains tax at all. If your income level is about to drop – let’s say your spouse is almost retiring or you’re about to lose your job – selling during this low income year will decrease your capital gains tax rate.
Limit your taxable income.
Since your capital gain tax rate relies on your taxable income, general tax-savings techniques can help you get a good rate. Increase your deductions, for instance, by giving to charity, getting pricey medical procedures before the year closes, or increasing your traditional IRA or 401k contributions.
Look as well for not-so-known deductions, like the moving expense deduction, which is for those who need to move for employment. Rather than buying corporate bonds, get bonds issued by municipalities, local governments and states, as the income they produce is non-taxable. There’s a whole range of potential tax breaks out there, so refer to the IRS’s Credits & Deductions database to know what you may qualify for.
When possible, sync your capital losses with your capital gains.
One important feature of capital gains is that they’re diminished by any capital losses you incur within a specific year. Using up your capital losses in the years you have capital gains, will lessen your tax. There’s no cap on the amount of capital gains you can report, but you may only take $3,000 of net capital losses every tax year. You can, however, carry extra capital losses into future tax years, but if you’ve had a particularly substantial loss, it may take a while for you to use those up.