Short-Term versus Long-Term Capital Gains
As most of us living in the United States already know, we Americans pay a different amount in taxes depending on how long we hold onto our investments.
For instance, if we hold an investment for one year or less, then we pay a short-term capital gains tax. Otherwise, if we hold an investment for more than a year, then we pay a long-term capital gains tax. Typically, the short-term capital gains tax is much higher than the long-term capital gains. The reasoning for this difference is to minimize short-term speculative investments to better stabilize the economy. Whether this works or not, Iíll leave to you and economists to figure out.
I was interested in knowing what percentage a short-term investment would need to make in order to compete with a long-term investment.
For instance, most people are in the 15% tax bracket for long-term capital gains tax, and most people are in the 33% tax bracket for the short-term capital gains tax. Assuming these tax percentages, what short-term investment would be equivalent to a long-term investment that earned 5%, such as a typical certificate of deposit?
Letís do the math. Letís say we invest $100 in a one year certificate of deposit earning 5%. At the end of the year, there would be a total of $105 in the account or $5 more than we put in. Therefore, we would need to pay 15% in taxes on the $5 and that would be exactly $0.75. This would make a $4.25 profit. Now, letís calculate what earning percentage would be necessary to be equivalent with the 33% short-term tax rate. Basically, that means 67% of the total amount earned would have to equal to the same $4.25 profit. In other words, it would be necessary to earn about $6.34 or 6.34% to compensate for the higher tax bracket for short-term investments. Note that this scenario does not consider state taxes, sales charges, or fees.
Letís compare several growth rates between short and long-term capital gains rates and different annual percentage yields for different types of investments.
|Example||Long-Term Tax Rate||Long-Term Growth Rate||Short-Term Tax Rate||Short-Term Growth Rate|
Therefore, as you can see, short-term investments must have a higher return just to guarantee the same profit over long-term investments.
If you want to calculate your own investment rates with different tax rates, here is the equation that you will need:
|Short-Term Growth Rate =||(100 - Long-Term Tax Rate) * (Long-Term Growth Rate)
(100 - Short-Term Tax Rate)
For example, if we plug in the numbers from Example #1, we would get:
|Short-Term Growth Rate =||(100 Ė 15) * (5)
(100 Ė 33)
|85 * 5
Otherwise, you can use this online form:
I hope this article will help you with your investments.
by Phil for Humanity