General Question

LDRSHIP's avatar

Is it true capital gain is taxed at 15%?

Asked by LDRSHIP (1163 points ) March 14th, 2014

Title.

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8 Answers

Judi's avatar

I think it depends on your income and the source of the gain. I believe if it’s crime the sale of a home the gain has to be really high to be taxed. I was surprised when we had $100,000 gain on our last house and didn’t have to pay any tax on it.
Disclosure: I am not a CPA and I would suggest consulting a CPA to find out the tax ramifications unique to your circumstances!

Pandora's avatar

I think @Judi is right. My mom lives on social security and when she sold her house she had a year to buy another house before she would have to pay capital gains taxes.
When I sold my house, I was able to take deductions for losses we had in making repairs from former renter, so in the end, it wasn’t anywhere near 15 percent. Initially we had to pay about 12% or so but when our taxes were done, we got back a fair portion of that. That was some years ago, so I don’t know what it is now.

Judi's avatar

The rules about capital gains were loosened dramatically with the Bush tax cuts.
(Sorry it’s to late to edit my typos up there. Dammed auto correct! “From” not “crime.” )

Cruiser's avatar

From the IRS website

Generally, for most taxpayers, net capital gain is taxed at rates no higher than 15%. Some or all net capital gain may be taxed at 0% if you are in the 10% or 15% ordinary income tax brackets. However, beginning in 2013, a new 20% rate on net capital gain applies to the extent that a taxpayer’s taxable income exceeds the thresholds set for the new 39.6% ordinary tax rate ($400,000 for single; $450,000 for married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er); $425,000 for head of household, and $225,000 for married filing separately). For more information, refer to Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.

There are a few other exceptions where capital gains may be taxed at rates greater than 15%:
1.The taxable part of a gain from selling section 1202 qualified small business stock is taxed at a maximum 28% rate.
2.Net capital gains from selling collectibles (like coins or art) are taxed at a maximum 28% rate.
3.The portion of any unrecaptured section 1250 gain from selling section 1250 real property is taxed at a maximum 25% rate

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Judi The rules are different for the sale of a principal residence. If you meet a few requirements, you can generally exclude the first $250K ($500K if filing a joint return) of gain.

Cruiser's avatar

Few people know and few I would guess would even care that the ACA aka Obamacare has a hidden tax on the sale of homes over $500,000. Any amount over the $500,000 threshold will now be taxed at 3.8%.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@cruiser If net gain from a principal residence exceeds $250K/$500K, the excess is treated and taxed as capital gain. This is long-standing law and nothing new.

The 3.8% is a net investment tax on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, capital gains, rents (not derived in the ordinary course of an active trade or business), and other passive income, reduced by allocable deductions and offsetting losses.

The tax doesn’t automatically apply to any and all passive income; it’s determined by a convoluted formula that put different types of income into different “buckets” and takes a modified form of adjusted gross income into account. Thus, your statement that, ”Any amount over…$500,000…will now be taxed at 3.8%” [emphasis added] is incorrect.

Judi's avatar

@SadieMartinPaul , I knew it was a high number but I didn’t know what it was. Thanks. I sure am glad I have a good CPA to sort this all out for me!

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