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I'm assuming that the stock you are about to sell is a "long-term" holding. If not, your gain will be taxed as ordinary income, 15% up to a taxable income of approximately 44K; 28% beyond that

For an approximation, take your 2000 return, and a copy of Schedule D. Fill in the information for your proposed sale on Schedule D. Carry the gain back to the front of Form 1040 and recalculate all the numbers down to line 39. Then go to Part IV of Schedule D and follow the instructions. When you get to the bottom of the page, you will have your tax (if the sale had been made in 2000).

This procedure does not make adjustments for indexed amounts which will be increased in 2001 (standard deduction, personal exemption, etc.) nor changes in your income pattern or tax payments, nor changes in tax laws which will be introduced when the Bush tax cut plan is in place. But it is a start.

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