Understanding the Latest Capital Gains Tax Changes for 2024

Capital gains and losses are an inevitable part of life for individuals, investors, and homeowners alike. Whether you’re selling stocks, bonds, real estate, or personal property, understanding how these transactions are taxed is a must for managing your finances efficiently. Recent capital gains tax proposed changes can significantly impact your overall status.  Consequently, we’re here to help you dive into the nuances of capital gains and losses, including recent changes and key considerations.

What are Capital Assets?

Almost everything you own for personal or investment purposes qualifies as a capital asset. These assets can include your home, household furnishings, stocks, bonds, and more. When selling a capital asset, the difference between the sale price and the cost of the asset results in either a capital gain or a capital loss.

Adjusted Basis:

Your asset’s basis is typically its cost to you as the owner. However, the basis might differ if you received the asset as a gift or inheritance. For specific guidance on determining your basis, refer to IRS Publication 551, Basis of Assets.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

It is a tax imposed on the profit you make from the sale of an asset (if it has increased in value).  When you sell an asset such as financial investments, real estate, or valuable items like art or collectibles for more than you paid, your profit is considered a capital gain. 

This tax is applied to the profit of the sale – not to the total amount received from the sale. Also, the tax rate can vary depending on factors such as the type of asset, how long you’ve held it (short-term vs. long-term), and your income level. 

Tax Rates on Capital Gains

The tax rate applied to your net capital gain depends on different factors, including your overall taxable income. According to recent capital gains tax changes, most individuals are subject to a maximum capital gains tax rate of 15%.

Tax Rate Thresholds:

  • A 0% tax rate on capital gains may apply if an individual’s taxable income is below certain thresholds.
  • Taxable income exceeding specific thresholds may result in a 20% capital gains tax rate.

Wondering what is the long-term capital gains tax rate and short-term rates are? Here are two charts illustrating the long-term and short-term capital gains tax proposed changes for the year 2024:

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Capital Gains

Capital losses or gains are categorized as either long-term or short-term, depending on how long you’ve held the asset. Generally, if you’ve owned the asset for more than one year before selling it, any resulting gain or loss is considered long-term. Conversely, if you’ve owned it for a year or less, it’s classified as short-term.


Certain scenarios, such as receiving property as a gift or from a decedent, may have different holding period rules. Additionally, you should keep abreast of capital gains tax changes from year to year to understand rates, exceptions, or adjustments. For details on specific exceptions, you can refer to IRS Publication 544 for clarification.

Long-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate 2024

Capital Gains Tax RateSingle (Taxable Income)Married Filing Separately (Taxable Income)Head of Household (Taxable Income)Married Filing Jointly (Taxable Income)
0%Up to $47,025Up to $47,025Up to $63,000Up to $94,050
15%$47,026 to $518,900$47,026 to $291,850$63,001 to $551,350$94,051 to $583,750
20%Over $518,900Over $291,850Over $551,350Over $583,750

Source: Fidelity.com

Please take note: Should Biden’s capital gains tax budget proposal pass, the tax rate for long-term capital gains will almost double by 39.6% 

Short-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate 2024

Tax Filing Status

Taxable Income Thresholds

Capital Gains Tax Rate

Single / Married Filing Separately


Ordinary Income Tax Rates

Married Filing Jointly / Qualifying Surviving Spouse


Ordinary Income Tax Rates

Head of Household


Ordinary Income Tax Rates

Please take note: Net short-term capital gains are taxed at graduated tax rates as ordinary income.

Exceptions and Special Cases

While the general capital gains tax rates apply to most scenarios, there are exceptions and special cases that may result in different tax treatment:

  • Section 1202 Qualified Small Business Stock: Gains from selling qualified small business stock may be taxed at a maximum 28% rate.
  • Collectibles: Net capital gains from selling collectibles are subject to a maximum 28% tax rate.
  • Unrecaptured Section 1250 Gain: A portion of unrecaptured section 1250 gain from selling real property may be taxed at a maximum 25% rate.
certified public accountant (CPA)

Deduction and Carryover of Losses

You can deduct the excess loss from your income up to certain limits if your capital losses exceed your capital gains. The deductible amount is the lesser of $3,000 ($1,500 for married filing separately) or your total net loss. Any excess loss beyond this limit can be carried forward to offset future capital gains.

Reporting Capital Gains and Losses

You’ll use Form 8949 and Schedule D (Form 1040) to report capital transactions and calculate your gain or loss. These forms allow you to detail each sale or disposition of capital assets and summarize your overall gains or losses.

Estimated Tax Payments and Net Investment Income Tax

Individuals with taxable capital gains may be required to make estimated tax payments throughout the year. Additionally, those with significant investment income could potentially be subject to NIIT (Net Investment Income Tax). Refer to IRS Publication 505 for guidance on estimated tax payments and Topic No. 559 for information on the NIIT.

Additional Resources

When will capital gains tax increase? Find answers and further information on capital gains and losses by talking with a tax professional or consulting IRS Publications 550 and 544. For specific guidelines about selling your main home, refer to Topic No. 701 and Publication 523.

Understanding the tax implications of your capital transactions is essential for effective financial planning. By familiarizing yourself with the rules and regulations surrounding capital gains and losses, you can make informed decisions and optimize your tax situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Capital Gains Tax

A profit made from the sale of an asset that has increased in value since its initial purchase is considered a capital gain. This can include profit on stocks, bonds, real estate, mutual funds, precious metals, and other investments.

It is typically calculated by subtracting the purchase price (also known as the cost basis) from the asset’s selling price. The resulting profit is then taxed at the applicable capital gains tax rate.

Short-term capital gains are profits from assets held for one year or less before being sold. Long-term capital gains are profits from assets held for more than one year before being sold. Tax rates for long-term gains are often lower than those for short-term gains.

Ordinary income tax applies to wages, salaries, and other types of income earned through employment or business activities. Alternatively, capital gains tax is applied explicitly to the profit made from the sale of assets.

Some countries offer exemptions or deductions for some types of capital gains, such as investments in certain qualified retirement accounts or the sale of a primary residence.  If you’re not sure if you qualify, talk to a tax expert or financial consultant for guidance specific to your situation.

Strategies for minimizing capital gains tax may include holding onto assets for the long term to qualify for lower long-term capital gains rates, using tax-advantaged accounts like retirement or education savings accounts, or employing tax-loss harvesting techniques.

Yes. Tax rates and regulations can change significantly from one country to another. It’s important to understand the rules and rates in your jurisdiction.

Capital gains tax is typically due in the tax year the asset is sold. However, specific deadlines and payment requirements may vary depending on local tax laws.

Certain types of investment vehicles, such as like-kind exchanges or 1031 exchanges in the United States, may permit deferral of capital gains tax if the proceeds are reinvested in similar types of assets within a specific timeframe.

For more information specific to your circumstances and location, consult tax authorities, financial advisors, or reputable online resources.