A capital gain is simply the profit you receive as a result of selling a capital asset. When there is sale of the asset after owning it for a short period of time, such sale results in short-term capital gain treatment. If sale of the asset takes place after holding onto it for a longer period, the sale of the asset receives the more favorable long-term capital gain treatment. Likewise, a loss from the sale of a capital asset can sometimes reduce tax liabilities.
It’s no secret that the housing market in many parts of California and the rest of the country has favored sellers. That means after sitting tight through the housing market crash, many people who sold their homes this year brought in a nice little profit.
Fall is here, which means it’s time to start thinking about year-end tax consequences, including capital gains taxes. Of course, you would never want to buy or sell investments based on tax outcomes alone, but it’s still a good idea to understand the tax consequences that you stand to face and plan accordingly.
We are almost done with our overview of how to determine if you must pay a capital gains tax on the sale of your home. A quick recap of the last two posts: Start with what you paid for the home, then add anything that increased the value of the property and deduct anything that may have decreased the value of the property.
The Internal Revenue Service's position on digital currency such as Bitcoin continues to evolve. As we discussed previously, the IRS issued a decision in March to categorize Bitcoin as taxable property and not official currency. While Bitcoin essentially functions as money, no nation recognizes digital currency as legal tender, though the IRS decision means that federal income taxes and payroll taxes will apply to wages paid in Bitcoin.
An individual is planning on selling their rental home that they have kept as an investment for ten years. They paid $400,000 on the property and have sold it for $500,000. They have also made no capital improvements upon it and are not paying for closing costs or sales commissions. They would then like to pay the $100,000 net profit towards their principal residence.
In our last post we discussed some different possibilities for how the Internal Revenue Service might tax the virtual currency known as bitcoin. The new type of currency has generated a lot of controversy and exists in a legal grey area because people are trading it for goods and services, holding it as an investment, and producing it as a business, but it is not recognized as a currency by any sovereign nation.
In the process of beginning to create an estate plan a lot of people have probably heard that it is best to give away a substantial portion of one’s wealth before they are gone in order to minimize tax liability and to make sure that gifts go to the people and organizations that they are intended for. This can be a very good method for pre-emptively managing an estate, but in some circumstances might not be the best possible option.
Determining one's capital gains tax can be simple for California residents, but it can also become complicated for certain kinds of assets. You need to have held on to an asset for at least a year or more or it will be categorized as a short-term capital gain and be taxed at the same rate as regular income. One should also remain mindful of the fact that, for high-income earners, the Golden State has the highest rate at 13.3 percent.
What this translates into for a high-income earner is paying a combination of state and federal long-term capital gains taxes that can hit a total rate of 33.3 percent. Don't forget to add the 3.8 percent Medicare tax to that figure. Add it all up and you can easily see how important it is to engage in some careful and knowledgeable tax planning.
The California Franchise Tax Board recently made a decision to retroactively collect taxes that the state's business owners and investors had been told they would not be expected to pay. It started 20 years ago when the state offered a capital gains tax incentive to motivate entrepreneurs and investors to set up in California.