If you sell investments this year, it’s less likely to affect your 2023 tax bill next spring, experts say.
The changes mean it takes more income to reach the 15% or 20% brackets, and depending on your taxable income, you may owe 0% on capital gains.
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“It’s going to be pretty significant,” said Tommy Lucas, a certified financial planner and enrolled agent at Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo in Orlando, Florida.
How to calculate your capital gains tax bracket
With higher standard deductions and income thresholds for capital gains, it’s more likely you’ll fall into the 0% bracket in 2023, Lucas said.
For 2023, you may qualify for the 0% long-term capital gains rate with taxable income of $44,625 or less for single filers and $89,250 or less for married couples filing jointly.
The rates use “taxable income,” which is calculated by subtracting the greater of the standard or itemized deductions from your adjusted gross income.
For example, if a married couple makes $100,000 together in 2023, their taxable income may easily fall below $89,250 after subtracting the $27,700 married filing jointly standard deduction.
By comparison, you may have been in the 0% long-term capital gains bracket for 2022 with a taxable income of $41,675 or less for single filers and $83,350 or less for married couples filing jointly.
Other tax-planning opportunities
With taxable income below the thresholds, you can sell profitable assets without tax consequences. For some investors, selling may be a chance to diversify amid market volatility, Lucas said.
“It’s there, it’s available and it’s a really good tax-planning opportunity,” he added.
Whether you’re taking gains or tax-loss harvesting, which uses losses to offset profits, “you really have to have a handle on your entire reportable picture,” said Jim Guarino, a CFP, certified public accountant and managing director at Baker Newman Noyes in Woburn, Massachusetts.
That includes estimating year-end mutual fund payouts in taxable accounts — which many investors don’t expect — and may cause a surprise tax bill, he said.
“Some additional loss harvesting might make a lot of sense if you’ve got that additional capital gain that’s coming down the road,” Guarino said.
Of course, the decision hinges on your taxable income, including payouts, since you won’t have taxable gains in the 0% capital gains bracket.