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Tip of the Day "Fee-Only" is Your Friend

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Tax Capital Gains

People who earn money from selling a property or investment will have to pay tax on those capital gains. Collectibles, business transactions, mutual funds, bonds and stocks will all be subject to capital gains. A capital gain is the amount of money you made or lost, compared to your original expense.

Record keeping is vital if you have investments. You should keep track how much you invested, and where you invested it. You will also need to add up any commissions or fees you paid when you bought it. When you sell an investment, calculate how much you made, minus any fees or commissions. You can access an investment software program to help you keep track of the calculations.

When you have capital gains, you will be required to file a form 1040 Schedule D. Add the purchase price, to any pertinent fees, to get the Cost Basis. The form 1040 Schedule D works like a spreadsheet. You will fill in the required information to calculate the capital gain or loss. You will add up the net loss or gain from all of the transactions completed in the tax year.

Tax rates will vary depending on your investment, and the length of time your money was invested. A short-term investment is an investment that you held for less than a year. If you acquire capital gains on these investments, they will be taxed as ordinary income.

If you have an investment for over a year, you will get a tax discount. Your tax bracket will determine if you will be taxed at either 5% or 15% for long-term capital gains. As you can see, you can save taxes with a little tax planning.

You can avoid capital gains on tax-deferred investments. This means you will not be taxed on the capital gain, until you retire. The money is then taxed as ordinary income. However, your income level at retirement is usually less, so you will be taxed at a lower rate. Tax deferred accounts include 401(k), Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), and Roth IRA. You can build up investment room in these savings vehicles by filing a tax return every year.

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Definition of the Day Portfolio

Definition: All of your investments.  If you own five stocks, a bond, and have bank CD's, those would be collectively referred to as your portfolio. TeenAnalyst Advice: When you hear a person talking about their portfolio, they're just referring to all of their investments.  If they say their portfolio is up...

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