For many of the nation’s high net worth individuals, much of their wealth comes from capital gains. Capital gains are better than income because they are taxed at a much lower percentage than other income. While capital gains taxes could be going down under the Trump administration, it still pays to know every trick in the book to avoid paying more taxes on them than you have to.
With that mind, let’s look at some of the important tips you should know in order to keep your capital gains taxes low. One smart move is to use a tax-advantaged retirement account when you invest. When you use a retirement account to invest, your money is allowed to grow tax-deferred, instead of paying a tax on the gains like a normal investment. Plus, if you use a Roth IRA, even your withdrawals are tax-free.
Additionally, the longer you hold your investments the less you will pay in taxes. If you hold an investment for a year or less then you will pay a percentage rate equal to your ordinary income. If you hold them longer than a year your rates decrease substantially.
Always look for opportunities to sell your underperforming stocks in order to offset the gains from your successful stocks. This will lower your tax bill. Lastly, keep track of your home improvements so when it comes time to sell your home you can use those expenses as deductions from any gains you make on the sale price of your home.