I was wondering if long-term capital gains count toward the overall determination of my tax bracket.Hypothetical situation: Let's say I'm a student grossing about $14k a year, and my wife's not making much more than that. Let's say (hypothetically) I got lucky and invested in some things a few years ago I want to cash out of that have collectively made about $300k in gains. Now, those are all long-term gains, so I forfeit 20% of the gains to the U.S. and another 9.3% to California for the privilege of living here.Now, here's my question. Suppose I also cash out of a few other things that have also appreciated, but I haven't yet held them a year. So I get taxed on 'em at the short term cap gains rate. The question is, are they taxed at my "regular" rate of 28%, or are they taxed at 39.6% because the long-term gains have shifted me into that tax bracket?Frigging schedule D confuses the living daylights out of me, so I can't look to it for answers. Furthermore, I'm playing the above "what if" game with Quicken, and it says 39.6%, but I asked an accountant friend, and he says 28% -- plus 9.3% in state taxes, of course.There's also another consequence I'm wondering about. I've already maxxed out my wife's and my Roth IRA contributions for 1999. However, what if by selling those long-term holdings, my income shoots to a level beyond which is legally allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA? Do I have to withdraw the money I put in for this year? Am I prohibited from contributing next year if my income returns to normal levels?One more question, less related -- I was looking for a clarification of wash sales beyond what I've read in the excellent Motley Fool Investment Tax Guide. I understand that wash rules state that if I want to claim a loss, that I also must not have bought the stock for 30 days PRIOR to the sale that shows the loss. My question is, does this mean I cannot claim a loss if I hold a stock for less than 30 days? (Even if I never owned the stock prior to the purchase that yielded the loss?)Thanks in advance for the answers... I really do love this board...
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