Investing Capital Gains Feed

U.S. Department of the Treasury building, Washington, D.C. On March 9, President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for a study of digital currencies. Advocates of regulating digital assets immediately pounced on the order. They viewed it as a bureaucratic move that would delay what they see as necessary government oversight of the expanding digital financial world. They were partially right. Even though the order, titled "Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets," directed agencies across the federal government to produce reports on digital currencies and consider new regulations, not much has happened, at least publicly. Until now. The Treasury... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service is under scrutiny again, this time for conducting unusual and intensive audits of two top FBI officials who were critical of Donald J. Trump. The IRS has asked the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to investigate how former FBI director James B. Comey and his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe, both were subjected to a rare, compliance research audit that is supposed to random. Congress also will get involved. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) already, and repeatedly, has taken IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to task for IRS shortfalls and missteps. In May, during a hearing... Read more →


Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA Dealing with the normal ups and, too frequently of late, downs of the stock market is enough of a worry. But things can quickly go even further downhill when crooks use fake investments to defraud victims. Not surprisingly, those criminals often get greedier and try to cheat Uncle Sam, too. Such overreach, however, didn't work out well for one California man. Robert Louis Cirillo of Chino Hills pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday, June 28, to charges of defrauding investors of $3.2 million, as well as scamming an elderly man of hundreds of thousands of... Read more →


This is how many investors felt after last week's stock market dive. (Photo by Angie) The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended last week below 30,000 for the first time since January 2021. Will it bounce back? Probably. Will that happen soon? Probably not, at least not at the levels the market reached before concerns about historic inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. corporate earnings, and the Federal Reserve's actions consumed investors. I'm not a financial adviser, but I've been an individual investor long enough to know that if you can afford it, hang in there. The proverbial stock roller... Read more →


UPDATE, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Washington Supreme Court’s Quinn decision, which held that the Evergreen State's capital gains tax is a constitutionally valid excise tax, not an income tax violating the Washington State Constitution's Uniformity Clause. The nation's highest court's refusal to hear the case means that the Washington State anti-capital gains tax group might revisit its no-referendum decision. UPDATE, Friday, March 24, 2023: The Washington Supreme Court this morning upheld the state's capital gains tax, which was approved by lawmakers in 2021. Opponents contested the new law, citing... Read more →


If you added cryptocurrency to your investment mix, things have not been as fun as they were when the digital asset first burst upon the scene. Sure, markets go up and down all the time. But crypto has, for the most part, crashed, if not totally burned. Crypto's volatility and unproven long-term track record is why many advisers have warned against putting it, or putting just a little, into portfolios. Some crypto fans, however, are willing and eager to own it. In fact, they want to go all in and add it to their retirement savings. That retirement plan possibility,... Read more →


Home sale prices are going through the roof in some places, meaning sellers need to be aware of the limits on how much residential sale profit is tax-free. (Photo by Jeffrey Czum) Austin's housing market has been hot for a while, but it hit even more torrid heights earlier this year. That prompted many of my neighbors to become former neighbors. They cashed in on their homes' escalation in value and moved. Most went to other single-family residences. Some older sellers downsized to townhouses or condos. A few decided to take their profits and hit the highway in new, well-appointed... Read more →


One of our neighbors made sure we all knew they had a new, cool graduate. (Photo by Kay Bell) I swear, my nieces and nephews were just in kindergarten. And wasn't that neighbor kid trick-or-treating as a dinosaur a couple of years ago? So how am I getting high school and college graduation announcements for these young people? Most of them will get a nice, actual paper congratulations card. A few will find a gift card tucked inside. However, a couple of these newly minted young adults will get actual gifts. But they won't be items that have to wrapped.... Read more →


Crypto currency aficionados thought the worse thing happening to their holdings lately was the crashing market prices. Sorry. There's more. Tax investigators say they've discovered a possible $1 billion Ponzi scheme focusing on the crypto market. More than 50 potential crypto tax offences have been uncovered by international tax inspectors, according to reports out of a recent London conference of leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) countries. The J5 was created to fight transnational tax crime through increased enforcement collaboration. The participating tax agencies — the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), France's... Read more →


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels Tax Day 2022 is just more than a week away, and based on Internal Revenue Service filing statistics, millions of us need to get to work. Uncle Sam's tax collector says the nearly 92.3 million filings it received through April 1 are running about 2 percent behind last year's numbers. Using 2021 numbers for comparison, that's more than 77.8 million unfiled returns so far this year. Of course, last year's filing figure is larger than previous years since millions who weren't required to submit returns did so that they could get COVID-9 economic impact... Read more →


President Joe Biden's fiscal year 2023 budget proposal of a minimum tax on the wealthiest Americans, as well as a levy on unrealized gains on assets (including stock holdings), is getting the most attention. Biden's plan to collect at least a 20 percent tax on U.S. households worth more than $100 million would apply to about 20,000 households, but more than half the revenue would come from households worth more than $1 billion, according to White House estimates. It also would, says the administration, help reduce the nation's budget deficit by $1 trillion over the next decade. Wish list only:... Read more →


The 2022 tax filing season is off to a strong start. In its first two weeks, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 4, the Internal Revenue Service received almost 16.7 million returns, and processed almost 13 million of them. The most important statistic for these millions of early filers is the refund numbers. Drum roll, please. So far, the IRS distributed more than 4.3 million refunds. The average refund very early this tax season is $2,201. That's the early average. Yours might be more. Or it might be less. In fact, many folks this filing season might find their refunds are... Read more →


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio The continuing Joe Rogan Spotify podcast controversy also has refocused attention on the streamer's relationship with musicians. Supporters of Spotify and other mainly music subscription services — Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon, to name a few — say streaming rescued the music industry by providing it with regular monthly revenue. Opponents of the services say industry is the key word. The big winners, they point out, are the streamers and large record companies, while the artists who make the music aren't benefiting unless they are at the superstar level. Think Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Drake.... Read more →


Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels Cryptocurrency's popularity skyrocketed during the height of the COVID pandemic. Celebrities endorsed it. Athletes and government officials embraced it. So, of course, more of the less famous added the virtual money to their portfolios. Then 2022 arrived. The value of most cryptocurrencies has plummeted in recent weeks, wiping out billions of dollars of wealth. But the bad news doesn't stop there. Now it's tax time. IRS' increasing interest in crypto: The digital money's growing acceptance naturally attracted the tax man's attention. The Internal Revenue Service says that for tax purposes, crypto is treated property.... Read more →


I got my first tax statement today, a 1099 for some freelance work I did last year. That's just one of the documents that millions of taxpayers are awaiting so they can file their tax year 2021 returns. In addition to income statements, such as the 1099-NEC I got, 1099s with details on investment earnings, and W-2 forms for folks with wage-paying jobs, there are beau coup documents reporting tax-related transactions. Among the most common are forms detailing home related mortgage interest and taxes paid from escrow accounts, retirement account distributions, prize and gambling winnings, and in some cases, health... Read more →


Photo by olia danilevich via Pexels For the past two years, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on tax deadlines. In 2021, Mother Nature joined in the chaos, with major disasters changing due dates in several states. But there's still a calendar tax constant. Dec. 31. That last day of the year remains the deadline to take care of some tasks that could affect your full year's taxes. Here are some common end-of-year tax timing situations. Getting married: If you say "I do" on 12/31, then the Internal Revenue Service considers you married for the whole year. That means when you file... Read more →


You made it through the hectic December holidays. Congratulations. But don't slow down now. You still have to accomplish a few final year-end tax tasks. I know, not how you want to spend the last few days of the year. But these 6 year-end tax moves could save you some money, either when you file your 2021 return next year or down the tax road. 1. Don't miss the RMD deadline. You're enjoying your well-deserved retirement thanks to all those years of savings. Don't mess things up now by missing your required minimum distribution (RMD). This withdrawal from tax-deferred retirement... Read more →


Yes, I know I've used this cats and Boxing Day meme before, most recently last Dec. 26. But c'mon. It's a great image that every cat lover immediately recognizes. Happy Boxing Day! While this holiday is not formally celebrated in the United States, many places across the rest of world embrace the day after Christmas as a way to keep the giving going. The great image of felines' fixations on boxes notwithstanding, just how did Dec. 26 come to be known as Boxing Day? One widely circulated accepted origin story is that when it began back in the United Kingdom's... Read more →


Photo by Dima D from Pexels It's Christmas week and you still have some shopping to do. Don't worry. Here are some financial gift ideas for those of all ages on your personal Santa list. A few even offer tax advantages. Christmas is the season that brings out the kid in everyone, but let's start with some gifts that would be great for hard-to-shop-for youths. Open a Roth IRA for a young worker. If you have a young friend or family member who worked this year, help him or her get started on those way down the road retirement. Open... Read more →


Roller coaster photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels The markets have been gyrating a bit of late. We can blame new COVID-19 variants, fluctuating jobs numbers, worker shortages, inflation, and supply chain problems for the nerve-wracking ups and downs. The chaos, economic and otherwise, is enough to prompt some investors to make moves, which also add to the market roller coaster. Before reacting to one or a few days' ups and downs, take time this month to more carefully review your overall portfolio. Then decide whether it's a good time to sell or buy. Either option could be a wise... Read more →