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This spring I invested
some student loan money that was just sitting idle till the next term and got lucky -turned 7k into
about 14k.

If you've sold the stock for a profit, outside of an IRA, then you have to pay taxes on it, as this is a capital gain, a form of income.

If you held the security a year or less, you'll pay short term capital gains taxes, which would be at your normal tax rate. If you held the stock for a year and a day or longer, you have a long term capital gain and pay 20%.

You may want to go to and attempt to fill out a 1998 tax return. This is the free Web TurboTax web site. I've used Turbo Tax for many years and it definitely makes it much easier to file taxes correctly.

Since your income is under $20,000 you can use it for free and you don't have to file it - just fill it out to get an idea of what you'll be faced with next year when you have to file.
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