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Am I taxed the same if I sell $10,000 worth of stock shares once a year, or if I collect dividends of $10,000 in a given year?

I'm no expert, but, probably not. Firstly, If you sell $10,000 worth of stock, you probably have a non-zero cost basis on the stock, so you would only pay tax on your capital gain. Depending on what you sell, you might even have a capital loss and pay no tax. And there are differences in tax rates for capital gains, ordinary income and dividend income (qualified vs. non-qualified) and different tax brackets depending on how high your income is. There are a lot of things to consider.
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