Requirements to File IRS Schedule D

IRS Schedule D is used by taxpayers to report gains and losses resulting from the trade or sale of certain types of property during the tax year. If you have gains that you don’t report on any other tax form, you may be required to file Schedule D and pay income tax on your gains. In some cases, you may be required to file one or more additional forms.

Filing Form 1040 Schedule D

Proceeds from the sale of real estate, personal property and investments are the types of gains typically reported to the IRS as income on Schedule D. You also have the option of using Schedule D to declare eligible losses to offset your tax liability for current and future gains. You will need to file Form 1040, the U.S. individual income tax return form, if you plan on filing Schedule D. Details about gains that must be reported can be found in the Schedule D instructions.

Before completing Schedule D, you may need to complete Form 8949: Sales and Dispositions of Capital Assets for each capital transaction. Part I of the form should be used for sales of short-term assets that were held for one year or less; Part II is for long-term assets that are held longer. For each asset transaction, you’ll need to enter a description of the asset, the purchase price and date, the selling price and date and any adjustments. If your gains are from an investment transaction, you should receive a Form 1099-B with all the information you need. The result of the computation of long-term capital gains and short-term gains from all your 8949 forms is summarized on Schedule D.

Exceptions for Form 8949

If you received a Form 1099-B that shows the basis was reported to the IRS and you do not need to make any corrections or adjustments, you may not need to file Form 8949. For more details, see the Form 8949 instructions.

2018 Tax Law

Changes to tax law for 2018 affect the tax rates for capital gains. The long-term capital gains tax rates for 2018 are either 0, 15 or 20 percent. The tax rates for short-term capital gains correspond to the seven new federal income tax brackets: 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 37 percent. Your rate is determined by your filing status and taxable income.

2017 Tax Law

If you are filing late taxes for 2017, the capital gains tax rates are 12, 25 and 33 percent. The short-term rates are 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent.

About the Author

Catie Watson is a California-based freelance writer and former software engineer and Disney Imagineer who covers personal finance, careers and technology for numerous websites and print publications. With degrees in English and Computer Science and a decade of professional writing experience, she makes complex topics accessible with engaging content.


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