Tax Tips: What's the story on Capital Gains?

Currently, capital gains tax rates are more favorable than regular income tax rates. That's why it's important for taxpayers who own stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or certain other investments to pay attention to the rules.

Favorable capital gains rates apply when the taxpayer has held the investment for more than a year, referred to as "long-term." If you hold an investment less than a full year, you don't get capital gains rates. So it's important when you're selling an investment to look at how long you've held it. You may want to hold it just a little longer if you're close to a full year of ownership.

What is the capital gains tax rate? If you're in a higher tax bracket, the capital gains rate is 15%. If you're in a lower tax bracket, the capital gains rate is only 5%. There are some exceptions to these rules, but these will apply to most taxpayers.

It pays to look carefully at your holding period for an investment. You could save yourself a significant amount of tax by ensuring that you've got a long-term holding period and are therefore able to get the benefit of capital gains tax rates on that investment. More information on Capital Gains can be found on the IRS website.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Which Receipts Should I Keep for Taxes?

Knowing which receipts to save and which to toss will help you maximize your tax refund while minimizing the amount of paperwork you have to save for tax time each year.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

When to Use Tax Form 4137: Tax on Unreported Tip Income

You may need to use IRS Form 4137 to calculateany additional tax you may owe on unreported tip income.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Tax Tips for Freelance Writers and Self-Published Authors

If you earn money selling your words to websites and other publishers, the Internal Revenue Service will likely say you’re a small business owner. Freelance income is self-employment income, and so are any royalties you receive for that book you published or self-published. That can be a good thing, because the self-employed are privy to some tax perks that employees don’t usually receive.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com

Will the IRS Keep My Refund if I Didn't File My Taxes Last Year?

If you're concerned about your tax refund being held by the IRS because of unfiled returns, you have a couple of options to reduce or eliminate any extra wait for your current-year refund.

Read More

Brought to you by TurboTax.com
Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.