Say, for example, I bought 10 shares of stock XYZ on January 1, 2018 and I buy another 10 shares of the same stock on April 1, 2018. Then I wait until January 1, 2019 to sell all the shares of my XYZ stock. Would the long term capital gain tax affect only the first 10 shares I bought since I've only held those shares for 1 year? Or would it affect all 20 shares that I sold?

  • The proceeds on all the shares would be subject to capital gains tax; the difference is whether they would be taxed as short-term (at this time, at the same rate as personal income) or as long-term (at a lower tax rate) gains.
    – chepner
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:32
  • Related: money.stackexchange.com/questions/87042/…
    – BrenBarn
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 3:48

1 Answer 1


The long/short term distinction is made per lot. So you would pay long-term gains tax on the profit made from the first lot of 10 shares, and short-term capital gains tax on profit made from the second lot of 10 shares.

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    And to be clear, the option for one to choose which lots to sell, for partial sales, is gone. It's first in first out, from here on in. Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:34
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    The new code has a good number of delightful changes that will catch many by surprise. No more "roth recharacterization" is my favorite... Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:36
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    @JoeTaxpayer Thought the FIFO rule was later removed? Did it come back in the final bill? Do you have a source?
    – xiaomy
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:37
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    @JoeTaxpayer See this article for example. FIFO was removed.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 20:04
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    @Joe - I stand corrected. It was removed from the final bill. (A lot of other bad things remained, but forced FIFO was pulled out) Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 20:17

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