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If you sell stocks that you have held for less than a year, the profit is taxed as ordinary income, along with your wages, taxable interest, etc. The rate depends on what bracket you are in. You pay tax on the difference between what you paid for the stock and what you received when you sold it. If you hold the stocks longer than a year, your profit is taxed as capital gains at 10% or 20% depending on what bracket you are in.

Hope that helps.
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