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Capital gains and losses result when you sell capital assets such as stocks, bonds, options, precious metals, and other commodities. You can determine capital gains and losses by comparing the difference between the proceeds you received upon the sale of the asset and the tax basis (adjusted cost) of the asset sold. The tax treatment of your capital gains and losses generally depends on how long you hold the asset before selling it. Gains and losses from sales of assets held for one year or less are considered short term and are taxed at ordinary income-tax rates.
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