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Thanks for the response Pete. I was wondering though if I would still qualify for the 15% tax bracket if my stock portfolio is worth close to $50,000. I have built this protfolio up over the years through gift monies received through my dad. However I really haven't sold or liquidated any positions as of yet. I just let the money keep compounding and reinvest the dividends and basically pay taxes on the dividends. Does this really change the complexity of the situation? any response you could give is really appreciated. I know my mother would qualify but would I still qualify under the 15% bracket in light of the new situation or would it be better to gift the stock to Mom?

The value of your portfolio does not enter into the equation. Only the value of any sales you actually generate which result in "recognized" gain.

The gain is added to your other income. Should your income prior to the gain result in you being in the 15% bracket the gain, assuming it is longterm, is taxed at 15%.

If your income exclusive of the gain is in the 28% bracket then the gain would be taxed at 20%

One other thought,

If Mom's only income is social security I could see where you could gift over a period of years amounts that would result in gains equivalent or less than her standard deduction plus personal exemption (about 7k for a single taxpayer) and she would not have to pay tax at all on the gain since it is less than this base amount of income allowed to any taxpayer before they are required to pay tax.

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