Capital gains tax calculator 2024

1 min readLast updated June 6, 2024by Charlie Barton
Capital Gains Tax Calculator

Use this calculator to help you estimate how much you will pay for capital gains.

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Holding period
Estimated capital gains tax
$24,000

What are capital gains?

When you sell an asset for a higher price than the original price you paid, the money you make on the sale is known as “capital gains.” If you lose money, it is called a “capital loss.”

Any profit you make is subject to capital gains tax.

Stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, and real estate are commonly taxed for capital gains, though this can also apply to more tangible items like boats, cars, and paintings.

A “net capital gain” is the difference between your capital gains and capital losses.

For example, if you sold one stock for a $5,000 profit this year and sold another at a $1,000 loss, your net capital gain would be $4,000.

What are capital gains taxes?

Capital gains taxes are taxes on the profit from the sale of your asset.

Like income taxes, capital gains taxes are progressive, meaning they increase as the taxable amount increases.

However, how the money is taxed also depends on a number of other factors, including:

  • What you sold

  • How long you owned it for

  • Your taxable income

  • Your filing status

All of these factors are explained in more detail below.

Learn more about capital gains tax >

How do capital gains taxes work?

Capital gains taxes are calculated based on the type and duration of the investment.

The tax system distinguishes between short-term and long-term capital gains:

  • Short-term gains come from assets held for one year or less and are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

  • Long-term gains come from assets held for more than one year and are taxed at a lower rate than regular income.

Holding onto an asset for more than a year before selling generally results in a more favorable tax treatment.

Additionally, it's important to note that capital gains tax rates might differ depending on the state you live in, as some states have their own capital gains taxes or none at all.

Capital gains tax by states >

What is the difference between long-term and short-term capital gains tax?

The primary difference between long-term and short-term capital gains tax is how long you have held the asset before selling. As mentioned, the tax rate applied to the gain differs depending on how long you held it.

Here's a breakdown of the different rates:

Holding PeriodTax Rate (2024)
Short-term (1 year or less) Ordinary income tax rates (10% - 37%)
Long-term (more than 1 year) 0%, 15%, or 20%

Short-term gains are taxed at your regular income tax rate.

Long-term gains have their own set rates, which can be as low as 0% for lower-income taxpayers.

What are the short-term capital gains tax rates for 2024?

Capital gains tax rates vary depending on your tax filing status and income level.

As mentioned, short-term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income, so you pay the same amount on your wages, for example.

The 2024 tax brackets are 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, and 37%. They are broken down as follows:

Tax rateSingleMarried filing jointlyMarried filing separatelyHead of household
10% Up to $11,600 Up to $23,200 Up to $11,600 Up to $16,550
12% $11,601 to $47,150 $23,201 to $94,300 $11,601 to $47,150 $16,551 to $63,100
22% $47,151 to $100,525 $94,301 to $201,050 $47,151 to $100,525 $63,101 to $100,500
24% $100,526 to $191,950 $201,051 to $383,900 $100,526 to $191,950 $100,501 to $191,950
32% $191,951 to $243,725 $383,901 to $487,450 $191,951 to $243,725 $191,951 to $243,700
35% $243,726 to $609,350 $487,451 to $731,200 $243,726 to $365,600 $243,701 to $609,350
37% Over $609,351 Over $731,201 Over $365,601 Over $609,350

What are the long-term capital gains tax rates for 2024?

If you sell an asset after holding it for a year or more, you qualify for long-term capital gains tax rates. These are usually more advantageous than short-term rates, allowing you to keep more of your capital gain.

Here is a table showing the long-term capital gains tax rates for the 2024 tax year based on different filing statuses:

Filing status0% rate15% rate20% rate
Single Up to $47,025 $47,026 – $518,900 Over $518,900
Married filing jointly Up to $94,050 $94,051 – $583,750 Over $583,750
Married filing separately Up to $47,025 $47,026 – $291,850 Over $291,850
Head of household Up to $63,000 $63,001 – $551,350 Over $551,350

Over 65? See our complete guide for capital gains tax for over 65s >

How can you lower capital gains tax?

There are several strategies to minimize your capital gains tax liability:

  1. Hold investments longer: Holding your assets for more than one year can qualify you for lower long-term capital gains tax rates.

  2. Use tax-advantaged accounts: Invest through retirement accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s, where your investments can grow tax-free or tax-deferred.

  3. Offset gains with losses: Use capital losses to offset your gains. This strategy, known as tax-loss harvesting, can reduce your taxable income.

  4. Consider your income level: Be mindful of your overall income. If possible, time your sales to occur in years when your income is lower to benefit from lower capital gains tax rates.

  5. Utilize the primary residence exclusion: If you want to reduce your capital gains tax liability on the sale of your primary residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples) of the gain from your taxable income.

  6. Find a financial advisor: Consulting with a financial advisor can help you develop strategies tailored to your specific financial situation to minimize capital gains taxes.

Learn more about reducing your capital gains tax >

Writer

Charlie Barton

Charlie Barton is a writer at Unbiased. He has been writing about personal finance and investing since 2017, with extensive knowledge of platforms and products. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics.