Tax Rates on Capital Gains

Research Report

Tax Rates on Capital Gains

January 25, 2012

Abstract

Tax rates on capital gains have fluctuated over the past century, sometimes matching the rates for ordinary income but more often substantially below them. The current top gains tax rate is 15 percent, less than half the 35 percent top rate on ordinary income and lower than at any time since the depression. But if Congress does not change the law, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and imposition of taxes associated with the 2010 healthcare legislation will boost the maximum tax rate on gains to 25 percent in 2013.

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