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I understand the rules for long/short term capital gain.

For short term, it is the same as my rate. In my case, it is 31%, plus my California State tax.

For long term, my rate should be 20%, plus my California State tax.

But my question is, since my returns are all prepared by the same accountant for years, when I look at Schedule D "Capital Gains and Losses", underneath of Part II, Long-Term Capital Gains and Losses, how do I know that he did calulate with just 20% for the Federal, not my usual 31% for the long term gains?

I know this is a question for him. But I only talk with him once a year. :-)

Thanks very much.
Frank
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Look on page 2 of Schedule D; without going thru the gory details look at lines 52,53,& 54.

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<<Look on page 2 of Schedule D; without going thru the gory details look at lines 52,53,& 54.>>
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I found it: line 41 Multilpy line 40 by 20% (.20).

My accountant did calculate my long term gain with 20%. I am happy. :-)

Thanks
Frank
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<<I understand the rules for long/short term capital gain.>>

Good for you...

<<For short term, it is the same as my rate. In my case, it is 31%, plus my California State tax.>>

Leave your CA problems out of this. They operate on two separate planes. The laws are completely different for capital gains for CA purposes. But you DO have the theory down correctly.

<<For long term, my rate should be 20%, plus my California State tax.>>

Basically, correct...since CA doesn't recognize a preferred tax rate for long term capital gains.

<<But my question is, since my returns are all prepared by the same accountant for years, when I look at Schedule D "Capital Gains and Losses", underneath of Part II, Long-Term Capital Gains and Losses, how do I know that he did calulate with just 20% for the Federal, not my usual 31% for the long term gains?>>

You'll have to go to Schedule D, page 2. You won't find the answer on page 1. Page 2 is where the actual computations take place to apply the maximum tax on long term capital gains. If you don't have a page 2 on your copy of the return, it's very possible that your accountant either forgot to give it to you, or s/he blew the computations.

Another trick is to look at your Form 1040, page 2, and see if the "schedule D" box is checked on line 40 (where the tax is computed). If it's not, and there is no page 2 of Schedule D in your copies of the tax return, it's very likely that you have some kind of a problem.

<<I know this is a question for him. But I only talk with him once a year. :-)>>

Which is a very BAD way to plan your taxes. If you're only talking to your accountant once a year, you may be missing some very VALUABLE information to help you reduce your taxes throughout the year. I know that you were just kidding (kinda), but taxes are something that require care throughout the year...not just once a year. That is the very point that I have tried to make in my book.

TMF Taxes
Roy