A new tax season and a new tax reporting rule for capital gains. It’s not a big change but, as Robert Wood writing for Forbes reminds us, any change to something as important as the capital gains tax is worth noting, especially with tax season upon us. From the IRS news release:
New Way to Report Capital Gains and Losses
In most cases, taxpayers now use new Form 8949 to report capital gain and loss transactions. Schedule D, the form traditionally used to show these individual transactions, is now used as a summary sheet, reporting amounts for total sales price, basis and other adjustments for all individual transactions, and for figuring the tax. For securities both bought and sold in 2011, the Form 1099-B, issued by the broker, normally shows the taxpayer’s basis. The information on this form will help taxpayers correctly fill out Form 8949. See the instructions for Form 8949 and Schedule D for details.
If nothing else, let this practical change remind you of the very practical reality of capital gains and losses, and what they mean to your estate planning strategies. Your goal, after all, is to leave your assets to your loved ones. However, depending on how you manage your planning, you also may be incurring unnecessary gift or estate taxes on your end… and inheritance or capital gains taxes on the recipient’s end. Accordingly, bearing this in mind can allow more precise footwork with your overall wealth transfer planning (especially when it comes to the taxable basis of the assets).
Reference: Forbes (January 11, 2012) “New Capital Gains Tax Reporting For 2011 Returns”; IRS.GOV news (January 2012) “2011 Changes Offer Tax Benefits to Almost Everyone; Special Tax Payment and Reporting Requirements Apply to Many”
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