Capital Gains and Losses: FAQs

Westchester NY accountant Paul Herman of Herman & Company CPA’s has all the answers to your personal finance questions! The following are frequently asked questions our Westchester accounting firm regularly receives regarding capital gains and losses, and how to handle them. a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/4375850315/Almost everything you own and use for personal purposes, pleasure or investment is a capital asset. The IRS says when you sell a capital asset, such as stocks, the difference between the amount you sell it for and your basis, which is usually what you paid for it, is a capital gain or a capital loss. While you must report all capital gains, you may deduct only your capital losses on investment property, not personal property.

While you must report all capital gains, you may deduct only your capital losses on investment property, not personal property. A “paper loss” — a drop in an investment’s value below its purchase price — does not qualify for the deduction. The loss must be realized through the capital asset’s sale or exchange.

Capital gains and losses are classified as long-term or short-term, depending on how long you hold the property before you sell it. If you hold it more than one year, your capital gain or loss is long-term. If you hold it one year or less, your capital gain or loss is short-term. For more information on the tax rates, refer to IRS Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets. If your capital losses exceed your capital gains, the excess is subtracted from other income on your tax return, up to an annual limit of $3,000 ($1,500 if you are married filing separately). Unused capital losses can be carried over indefinitely to future years to net against capital gains, however the annual limit still applies.

Capital gains and losses are reported on Form 8949Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets, summarized on Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses, and then transferred to line 13 of Form 1040. Accounting and planning for the sale and purchase of capital assets is usually a very complicated matter, so please contact us so that you may receive the professional advice you deserve.

Westchester NY accountant Paul Herman of Herman & Company CPA’s is here for all your financial needs. Please contact us if you have questions, and to receive your free personal finance consultation!

Herman and Company CPA’s proudly serves Armonk NY, Bedford Hills NY, Katonah NY, Larchmont NY, Purchase NY, Scarsdale NY, Rye NY, Stamford CT and beyond.

 Photo Credit: AllanCleaver via Photopin cc

2 Responses to Capital Gains and Losses: FAQs

  • Darren Sanford aka The Network Marketer's CPA says:

    Awesome article! A complex tax topic broken down in a simplified, easy to understand article. Thanks for sharing. I will be glad to show some love with a Facebook and Twitter share.

    Make it an awesome day!

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