Capital gains are profits from the sale of a capital asset, such as shares of corporate stock, a business, a parcel of land, or a piece of art. Capital gains are generally included in taxable income but are often taxed at a lower rate; under current law, for example, most long-term capital gains face a top rate of 15 percent. Complicated rules impose a range of tax rates on different kinds of gains and can make it difficult for taxpayers to calculate their tax liability. A capital gain occurs when a capital asset is sold or exchanged at a price higher than its basis (its purchase price plus commissions and the cost of improvements net of depreciation). Similarly, a capital loss occurs when an asset is sold for less than its basis. Gains and losses (like other forms of capital income and expense) are all measured in nominal terms-that is, unadjusted for inflation.
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Last edited by Tony Stevenson : 12-05-2012 at 06:00 AM.