The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

The Rich & Taxes

Taxes, America

Do rich people really pay no taxes on their investment returns?


By Matt Krantz, USA TODAY


A: Given the increasing concentration of the world’s wealth, it’s tempting to figure the rich are getting a free ride when it comes to taxes.  But, with investors in the U.S., the tax code provides just the opposite.


First of all, issues of fraud, cheating and tax evasion by the wealthy goes behind the topic of this column.  There’s no question that crafty folks forever have played games with taxing authorities to hide their wealth.  Tricks used to reduce taxes range from bribing to simply hiding wealth.  Certainly, there are plenty of rich investors who have hired accountants that have illegally, or perhaps legally, reduced their investment taxes to $0.  That’s the subject of another forum.


But here, we can talk about the rules when it comes to investing.  And there’s the ironic part.  At least according to the U.S. tax code, it’s lower-income families, not the rich, that get a free ride on taxes due on investment gains, or capital gains.  For the tax year 2010, lower-income households in tax brackets below 25% paid a 0% capital gains rate.  Meanwhile, the bulk of households that fall into a tax rate of 25% or higher pay the 15% maximum capital gains rate.


Meanwhile, any gains on collectibles, say if a wealthy person were to sell part of a prized art collection, is taxed at a much higher 28% capital gains rate.


Again, it’s true that wealthy people might be able to reduce their capital gains to reduce the tax hit.  Qualified losses can be used to offset capital gains, which would reduce the size of the gain that must be taxed.  And rich people certainly have more assets to move around to manage their tax hits.  But this same right to offset gains is provided to taxpayers of all income levels, not just the wealthy.


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