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Lighten Up

Lessen your capital gains tax burden with these strategies.

Don't let tax planning slide as you wait for Congress to finalize changes in the capital gains tax rate. While most business owners eagerly anticipate any reduction in the tax levied on the gains realized when selling investments, real estate or businesses, it pays to be aware of and take advantage of the various strategies already available to help minimize the tax bite.

Planning ahead now may be especially wise for investors who have reaped healthy returns in the stock market during the past two years and are mulling over the possibility of selling some of their winners in 1997. It's important to factor these gains into your overall tax liability and plan accordingly so you don't get socked with an unexpectedly large tax bill when it comes time to file your return.

The current top capital gains rate is 28 percent for individuals. The budget deal agreed to by President Clinton and congressional Republicans calls for a reduction in capital gains taxes, but the details on how much the tax will be trimmed is still in congressional tax-writing committees.

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This article was originally published in the August 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Lighten Up.

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