How You Can Pay Zero Tax on Your Investments

Tax-free investment income is hard to come by, but some taxpayers can get a lot of it. Find out how here.

Mar 29, 2014 at 10:07AM

Nobody likes paying taxes on investments. But some lucky taxpayers are able to get a 0% rate on some of their investment income.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, runs through the rules for the 0% rate, explaining how it can apply to both long-term capital gains and qualified dividend income. Dan notes that on the dividend side, the rate only applies for ordinary stocks, with certain pass-through entities like real-estate investment trusts Annaly Capital (NYSE:NLY) and Chimera Investment (NYSE:CIM) paying out dividends that get taxed at ordinary income tax rates. Similarly, business development companies Prospect Capital (NASDAQ:PSEC), Ares Capital (NASDAQ:ARCC), and Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN) have traditionally paid out a combination of qualified and non-qualified dividend income, making their distributions only partially eligible for the 0% rate. Dan concludes that if you have room in those lower two brackets, selling stocks at a gain can be a smart move to make the most of your tax-free opportunity.

Take advantage of this little-known government tax rule
Recent tax increases have affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes and potentially even lower your tax bill. In our brand-new special report "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

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Articles and beyond

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For the beginning investor

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But wait, there's more

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