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Think of the dollars in your taxable income (line 43 of the 2012 form 1040) as a stacked bar. On the bottom of the bar is ordinary income. On top of this is unrecaptured Sec. 1250 capital gain. On top of this is, I believe, qualifying dividends. On top of this is any long term capital gains. And so on.

So if your gross income is, say, $100,000 of LTCG, this will go on line 22 and assuming you have no above the line deductions, will also go on line 37/38. You'll then subtract your standard deduction and personal exemption for 2013 of $10,000, leaving $90,000 of taxable income. The first $36,250 of this will not be subject to tax as it is in the 15% bracket. The remaining $53,750 would be Fed taxed at 15%, or $8,062.50. You'd have to have a taxable income of $200,000 to go to the 20% rate.

I'm in a bit of a rush so don't have time to double check my figures, but I believe this is correct.

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