Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Zero Capital Gains Rate


The Zero Capital Gains Rate is a tax rate applicable to long-term capital gains for individuals who fall within the lowest tax brackets. Generally, it applies to taxpayers in the 10% to 15% ordinary income tax brackets. This provision allows low-income earners to benefit from investments, as it encourages investment without incurring additional tax burdens.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Zero Capital Gains Rate” is:Zee-roh Kăp-i-tl Gaynz Rayt

Key Takeaways

  • The Zero Capital Gains Rate is a tax incentive targeted at promoting investment in certain assets by lowering the tax burden on the profits made from the sale of capital investments. This rate applies to taxpayers within specific income ranges, with the goal of encouraging investments and fostering economic growth for individuals and businesses.
  • Eligibility for the Zero Capital Gains Rate is determined by the taxpayer’s income and filing status. In general, single filers with a taxable income up to $40,000, married couples filing jointly with an income up to $80,000, and head of household filers with an income up to $53,600 (all values as of 2021) can qualify for this rate. It’s important to note that these limits may change as tax regulations evolve.
  • While Zero Capital Gains Rate can be quite advantageous, it is essential to consider other factors related to personal finance and investment strategy. Individual risk tolerance, the timing of investments, and the holding period for capital assets should all be taken into account. Investors should also be mindful that capital gains tax rates could change in the future, and this rate may not be available indefinitely.


The Zero Capital Gains Rate is an important business/finance term because it refers to a situation where no tax is levied on the profits made from the sale or exchange of capital assets, such as stocks, bonds, or real estate. This rate incentivizes individuals and businesses to invest in various financial instruments or assets, since they can retain the complete benefit of any potential gains when they decide to sell or trade these assets. Consequently, the Zero Capital Gains Rate can stimulate economic growth by encouraging investments, and promoting innovative product and service offerings, while also helping investors to build wealth in an efficient and tax-advantaged manner.


The Zero Capital Gains Rate is a financial incentive that is designed to stimulate investment and economic growth. Primarily, this rate serves as an attractive mechanism aimed to encourage investors to put their resources into various long-term assets such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. By applying a zero percent tax on capital gains for these investments, this policy promotes an environment where investors can reap the full benefits of their successful ventures without having to lose a portion of their profits to taxes. This fosters an ideal situation for both new and experienced investors, who are the key drivers in boosting economic expansion, while also catering to the financial health of businesses who rely on the funding provided by investors.

Furthermore, the Zero Capital Gains Rate also has the potential to generate social benefits for communities, as the investment stimulated by this policy can lead to the creation of new jobs and the improvement of existing industries. By offering a tax break on long-term investments, governments can increase the pool of available funding for businesses to tap into, subsequently enabling socioeconomic growth and development. The ultimate purpose behind this rate, then, is to equip businesses with the necessary resources to expand and prosper, which in turn increases the well-being of the local economy and society.


The Zero Capital Gains Rate is a tax provision that allows investors to pay no tax on realized capital gains under specific conditions. Here are three real-world examples related to the Zero Capital Gains Rate:

1. Long-term investment in stocks: An individual taxpayer in the United States who falls under the 10% or 12% tax bracket may qualify for the Zero Capital Gains Rate on long-term investments (assets held for more than one year). Suppose that an investor who falls under the 12% tax bracket buys 100 shares of Company XYZ at $20 per share. After more than one year, the investor sells the shares at $30 per piece, realizing a profit of $1,000. Due to their tax bracket, the investor benefits from the Zero Capital Gains Rate and pays no tax on their profit.

2. Sale of real estate property: Consider a married couple who falls under the 12% tax bracket and decides to sell their investment property which they have owned for more than one year. They initially purchased the property for $150,000 and sell it for $180,000, generating a capital gain of $30,000. Since the couple qualifies for the Zero Capital Gains Rate based on their tax bracket and holding period, they pay no tax on the profit.

3. Art and collectibles: Let’s say an investor in the 10% tax bracket buys a piece of rare artwork for $50,000 and keeps it for more than a year. When they sell it for $70,000, the investor realizes a capital gain of $20,000. Due to the Zero Capital Gains Rate associated with their tax bracket, the investor is not required to pay taxes on the realized gain.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Zero Capital Gains Rate?

The Zero Capital Gains Rate is a tax rate, often 0%, applied to certain types of long-term capital gains for taxpayers who fall within a specific income tax bracket. It is designed to encourage long-term investments and reduce the tax burden on individuals with lower income.

Who is eligible for the Zero Capital Gains Rate?

Eligibility for the Zero Capital Gains Rate depends on the taxpayer’s filing status and taxable income. For example, taxpayers who fall within the 10% or 12% federal income tax brackets may be eligible for a 0% long-term capital gains tax rate. The specific income limits are adjusted periodically, so please consult the latest IRS tax brackets for the most accurate information.

Which types of capital gains qualify for the Zero Capital Gains Rate?

The Zero Capital Gains Rate applies to long-term capital gains, which are profits from the sale of assets held for more than one year. This includes stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and other investments. Short-term capital gains, or profits from assets held for less than one year, are not eligible for the 0% rate and are typically taxed at the individual’s regular income tax rate.

How do I calculate my long-term capital gains?

To calculate your long-term capital gains, subtract your investment’s original cost (also known as cost basis) from the selling price. In some cases, you may need to factor in additional expenses or adjustments associated with the investment, such as commissions or fees.

Is there a maximum amount of capital gains that qualify for the Zero Capital Gains Rate?

There is no specific maximum amount of capital gains that can qualify for the 0% rate. However, if your capital gains push your taxable income beyond the threshold for the 0% rate, the portion of the gains that falls within a higher tax bracket will be subject to the applicable rate for that bracket (15% or 20%).

Can I claim the Zero Capital Gains Rate for state taxes as well?

The Zero Capital Gains Rate applies to federal income taxes only. State tax rules may vary, so consult your state’s tax regulations or a tax professional to determine the applicable state capital gains tax rates.

How can I take advantage of the Zero Capital Gains Rate on my tax return?

To take advantage of the Zero Capital Gains Rate, you will need to report your qualifying long-term capital gains on Schedule D, which is included with Form 1040 when filing your federal income taxes. The tax software or your tax professional will calculate the appropriate tax rate based on your reported income and capital gains.

Related Finance Terms

  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Long-term Investment
  • Qualified Dividends
  • Tax Brackets
  • Cost Basis

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More