Capital Gains Calculator -- Example

Suppose you bought some stock at $30 a share, and within one year your stock has rocketed to $50. But you think it's due for a correction, and in fact you think it may never see $50 again. Should you sell now and take a brutal tax hit, or should you hang on just long enough to take advantage of a lower tax rate?

We'll initialize the calculator with some plausible declining stock prices: $50 a share if you sell now, and $45 if you wait until the "one year plus one day" mark.

Purchase Price: $
Your Federal Tax Bracket:     %
Time from Purchase to Sale: One Year
or Less
More than
One Year
Sale Price: $ $
Your State Tax Rate: % %
Federal Capital Gains Tax Rate: % %
Total Tax Due: $ $
Net Sale After Tax: $ $

You'll probably find that, unless you have a very high federal tax bracket and live in a state with an unusual tax code, it doesn't pay to wait: you'll get the highest net if you sell now. So this is one case where you have to be careful not to let your eagerness for a tax break lead you to a decision that isn't really in your best interest.

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