January 26, 2016
By Ryan Ellis
The major presidential campaigns have a lot they disagree on with the Iowa caucuses just a week away. Nowhere do they disagree more than on the subject of capital gains taxation–even within the same political party.
In order to help inform voters, below is a brief survey of where the Democratic presidential candidates stand on the capital gains tax.
A capital gain is defined as the profit made by a taxpayer on the sale of an asset–sales price less cost basis.
If a capital gain is realized after the underlying asset has been held less than one year, it is taxed at ordinary income tax rates as high as 39.6% (plus the 3.8% surtax described below).
If a capital gain is realized after the underlying asset has been held more than one year, it is taxed at a special rate of 20% for most taxpayers (less than that for low and middle income households). There are special rates for real estate depreciation recapture, timber, art and collectibles. The reasoning for a lower rate is a mixture of motivations–incentive to invest, backing into an inflation index of basis, and a desire to mitigate a second layer of tax on savings. It’s fair to call the current half-tax treatment of long term gains a rough justice compromise of all these concerns.
Read the full article at Forbes.com: Clinton And Sanders Propose Highest Capital Gains Tax Rate In History