Investing Capital Gains Feed

Donald Trump has yet to release his tax reform plan, but he dropped a hint during an interview with CBS News on Sunday morning. "The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder. They're making a tremendous amount of money. They have to pay taxes. I want to lower the rates for the middle class. The middle class is the one, they're getting absolutely destroyed. This country doesn't have, won't have a middle class very soon," Trump told Face the Nation. I don't agree with much of what Donald Trump says, either in his personal, TV or political life. But... Read more →


Trading at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has been, for the most part, halted. While the situation that the NYSE says is a technical glitch is a boon for Twitter quipsters, it's legitimately freaking out traders and investors. The trading issue is entering its third hour as I type. NYSE officials, however, are hoping to open before the day ends. Floor trading finally resumed around 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time. NYSE issued a statement after the 11:32 a.m. Eastern Time problem occurred: "The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber... Read more →


You're finally ready to sit down and do your taxes. Are you sure? The only thing worse than filling out your 1040 and all those other forms is finding that you forgot something and have to file an amended return. A tax-filing checklist will help ensure you have all the information you need to complete your federal income taxes correctly. Generally, the documents and materials you need stay pretty much the same from tax year to tax year. For 2014 returns, however, there are a couple of new considerations. Obamacare filing issues: This year, millions of folks are dealing for... Read more →


This second Friday the 13th of 2015 is pretty scary for folks with money in the stock market. With just about an hour left in the trading day, the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 are all down. Sure, the drops are just fractional. And reasoned, dedicated investors know that markets fluctuate, sometimes wildly. If you have a good long-term investment plan and are patient, you should come out OK. Still, if like the hubby and me you're hoping to return sooner rather than later, you probably double clutch a bit whenever the market goes down even a little. But, as... Read more →


The 2015 tax filing season is underway and for most of us, that means detailing our wage income on our 1040s. While workers' pay still is the dominant type of income reported to the Internal Revenue Service, a recent Tax Policy Center analysis notes that wages and salaries have lost some of their dominant share over the past six decades. From 1952 through 2012, write Roberton Williams and Lydia Austin in the Dec. 22, 2014, issue of Tax Notes, capital gains and other nonbusiness income have grown in relative importance. Here are the income sources reported by taxpayers back in... Read more →


It's Tuesday, but to borrow a phrase and concept popular on the Internet, it sure feels like Throwback Tax Thursday. The reason? The preview of the topics that President Obama plans to address in tonight's State of the Union Address includes some tax provisions that used to be in the Internal Revenue Code. The one that caught my eye is a tax break that's near to my heart, and I mean that in the romantic sense. The hubby and I married in 1982 in part because by waiting until that year, we started off as husband and wife with a... Read more →


The stock market has been on a crazy run in 2014. When its wild swings up and down ultimately shake out, many folks will find that their portfolios are going to worth much more. Some folks took their gains earlier in the year. Others are cashing in those positive holdings as part of their year-end tax planning. Either way, they'll face taxes on their investment profits. Granted, the tax rate for long-term capital gains generally is lower than a taxpayer's ordinary income tax rate: 20 percent for higher earners (those in the top tax bracket), 15 percent for most middle-class... Read more →


Ho! Ho! Ho! Holy Moly! It's December already! The song is wrong, or at least incomplete. It may well be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also the busiest. I don't know about you, but busy and wonderful isn't always (or usually) a good convergence. Unfortunately, there's very little we can do about it this year, especially since Thanksgiving fell late in November. Things right now are even more crunched, what with more shopping, holiday parties, and getting ready to visit relatives or host them at your home, all the while trying to shoehorn in some work.... Read more →


Here we are, into the final two months of the year. That means much of our time will be spent thinking about getting ready for cold weather, use-or-lose vacation days and the rapidly approaching holidays. But we also need to think about taxes. November is the perfect month to take some steps so that you don't have to deal with tax turkeys at filing time. Wild turkeys photo by Yathin S. Krishnappa via Wikimedia Vote! Many folks will get a direct say on their states' tax policies when they vote tomorrow, Nov. 4. Among the almost 150 ballot questions across... Read more →


Did you have a great three-day Fourth of July weekend? Fantastic! Now it's time to focus on taxes. Really. Don't act so surprised. Yes, it is summer. But you did click over here to the ol' tax blog. Photo courtesy of Camp Laurel, Maine And I know you know that taxes continue well beyond the traditional filing season. So don't let more days slip by without making some midyear tax moves that could help keep you on the Internal Revenue Service's good side an help reduce your upcoming 2014 tax bill. Here are five easy tax tasks to take care... Read more →


A professional golfer, billionaire investor and Las Vegas gambler walk into ... trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Though the set-up is familiar, it's no joke. It's the latest in Uncle Sam's continuing effort to stem insider trading, the buying or selling of securities based on information not available to the public. This case, however, goes beyond the usual Wall Street figures. It involves some very high-profile and publicly recognizable people in, according to the Wall Street Journal, a "major insider-trading probe involving finance, gambling and sports." The targets of the SEC and Federal Bureau of Investigation probe, first... Read more →


Tonight could be the end of the 2014 season for the Los Angeles Clippers. They face the Golden State Warriors in game seven of their series to determine which team will go to the next round of the NBA playoffs. UPDATE: The Clippers beat the Warriors 126 to 121. Time also is running out for Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver last week banned Sterling from the sport for life following his racially charged comments. Silver also asked the league's other team owners to remove Sterling from their ownership ranks. Sterling is expected to fight to keep the... Read more →


This is not an April Fools' Day joke. Some investors will not owe the Internal Revenue Service a cent of tax when they sell their assets. But as today's Daily Tax Tip notes -- and there usually is a "but" when you're talking taxes -- there are some limits. Let's start with some good news. There is no time limit on the life of this tax break. It was a temporary part of the Bush-era tax laws and technically expired at the end of 2012. But it was made permanent on Jan. 2, 2013, when the American Taxpayer Relief Act... Read more →


2013 was not a good year for rich folks. That's when tax laws designed to get more money from the wealthy went into effect. And making matters even worse for those with bigger bank balances is that there's no universal tax definition of just how much money makes you rich! Today's Daily Tax Tip, courtesy my slide show at Bankrate.com, looks at five higher taxes on wealthy taxpayers. A couple of the new, higher taxes are part of Affordable Care Act, popularly (or unpopularly, depending on your political persuasion) known as Obamacare. The others are part of the American Taxpayer... Read more →


For good or ill, 2013 is gone. Welcome 2014! On the tax front, 2013 was quite an eventful year. So before we get too deep into this new year, I thought it would be fun to reflect on what happened in the tax world last year. Taxes, of course, are very personal. That one-to-one relationship we all have with the tax code extends even to major developments in tax laws. What seems momentous to me might not be so important to you and vice versa. So the following list of 10 tax happenings in 2013 is in no particular order.... Read more →


East Coast taxpayers have about half a day of 2013 left. West Coasters get a few more hours. But regardless of where you live, time is rapidly winding down as far as tax moves you can make to reduce your final 2013 tax bill. Hopefully, you checked out the many year-end tax options when I wrote about them in late November for Bankrate.com (or saw it when it was picked up by ABC News) or blogged about them on Dec. 1. Or maybe you checked the right column's December Tax Moves running calendar. If so, thanks for reading and good... Read more →


If you're rushing around this Christmas Eve to finish up your shopping, I hope you find everything you're looking for without too much trouble. And I hope it doesn't cost you as much as the collection of gifts given to a true love in the classic Christmas song The 12 Days of Christmas. Yes, I'm still stuck in a song loop, having just wrapped up the Christmas Tax Tip Tunes feature on the day before the day before Christmas. And while it's not strictly tax-related, the annual PNC Christmas Price Index is always fun. So fun, in fact, that the... Read more →


Donating appreciated assets to your favorite charity

Economic wonks have gathered in Washington, D.C., or if they can't travel to the nation's capital, around their video screens and/or television business news channels. The reason? Today marks the beginning of the final Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting of the year. The Federal Reserve members will issue a statement on their decisions tomorrow afternoon. We all know what that means. The stock market will be, at best, erratic while the Fed folks are in session. Investors are nervously anticipating any indication as to exactly when the Fed will dial back its monetary stimulus. In early trading today, stocks... Read more →


It's finally here! Everyone's favorite month. The final 31 days in which you can take steps to reduce your 2013 tax bill. What? You thought I was talking about Christmas? C'mon! If you've been reading the ol' blog for the last eight years, you know I started my tax musings by referring to any consideration of taxes as the most wonderful time of the year. And while taxes must share at least 25 of December's days with the big annual gift-giving event, this final month of the year is a great time to give yourself a smaller tax bill. So... Read more →


Did you buy Twitter stock today when the Internet company went public? Neither did I. I am hoping, though, that the tech mutual fund I own did pick up some shares. And I hope the Twitter folks are successful, not only because of my possible future earnings potential, but because the 140-character online connector is my favorite of the social media offerings -- despite this very long sentence and my overall tendency toward lengthy blog posts! (BTW, I'm @taxtweet.) Today's stock market twittering attention got me thinking about an annual year-end tax-planning rite, the evaluation of portfolios. In most cases,... Read more →