I currently am in the 15% tax bracket for 2014 as I am a college student employed as a summer intern.

However, if I am hired as a full time employee by next year, I would move into the 25% tax bracket. If I bought stocks now and sold my holdings two years from now, would my long term capital gains tax be calculated based on when I bought the stock (15%), or when I sold the stock in 2016 (25%)?

Obviously, I'm hoping its 15% so I won't have to pay any taxes on my capital gains!

2 Answers 2


You pay taxes on capital gains when you realize your gains by selling the investment property. Also, in the US, taxes on capital gains are computed at special rates depending on your current income level, and so when you realize your gains two years from now, you will pay taxes on the gains at the special rate then applicable to your income level for the year of sale. Remember also that the US Congress can change the tax laws at any time between now and the time you sell your stocks, and so the rates you are looking at now may have changed too.


Capital gains taxes for a year are calculated on sales of assets that take place during that year. So if you sell some stock in 2016, you will report those gains/losses on your 2016 tax return.

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