Nobody likes paying any more tax than necessary. For long-term investors, one key tax break is available to everyone, even though many investors never take advantage of it.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at the biggest tax break long-term investors get: the ability to time their capital gains. Dan notes that if you hold stocks for the long run, you never have to pay tax on capital gains until you sell them. Moreover, if you pass them on to your heirs unsold, they'll receive a stepped-up tax basis in the shares, essentially allowing them to avoid tax on those gains entirely. Dan discusses the impact of this tax break on investors in Altria (MO -0.57%), Wal-Mart (WMT 0.38%), Oracle (ORCL 2.10%), and Microsoft (MSFT 0.43%) over the decades, as well as the potential for shareholders in additional stocks to reap the benefits of this tax break.