Historical Look at Capital Gains Rates

2018 Whole Ball Of Tax

A Historical Look at Capital Gains Rates

Year Individuals Corporations
Maximum capital gains rates Maximum capital gains rates
1913–1921 same as regular rate same as regular rate
1922–1933 12.5% 12.5%
1934–1935 17.7%* 13.75%
1936–1937 22.5%* 15.0%
1938–1941 15.0% same as regular rate
1942–1951 25.0% 25.0%
1952–1953 26.0% 26.0%
1954 25.0% 26.0%
1955–1967 25.0% 25.0%
1968 26.9% 25.0%
1969 27.5% 25.0%
1970 30.2% 25.0%
1971 32.5% 25.0%
1972–1974 35.0% 25.0%
1975–1977 35.0% 30.0%
1978 33.8% 30.0%
1979 35.0% 30.0%
1980–1981 (June 9) 28.0% 28.0%
1981 (after June 9 )–1986 20.0% 28.0%
1987–1992 28.0% 34.0%
1993–1997 (May 6) 28.0% 35.0%
1997 (after May 6)– 2003 (May 5) 20.0% 35.0%
2003 (after May 5)– 2012 15.0% 35.0%
2013–2017 20.0% 35.0%
2018 20.0% 21.0%


*Assumes 10-year holding period, 30% of gain recognized (sliding scale for exclusion based on holding period).

Please note: Tax law is complex. While an accurate representation of capital gains rate history, this chart may not reflect various factors (such as excess profit taxes, phase-ins, rates on special categories of gain and AMT) that could have affected capital gains taxes throughout the years.

SOURCE: Wolters Kluwer, 2018
Permission for use granted.

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