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What Is Schedule D in Tax Papers?


Taxpayers who sold stock during the tax year must complete Schedule D, even if the stock was sold at a loss. However, losses may offset ordinary income.


The IRS applies a higher tax rate---typically, the rate of regular income---to gains made on stocks that were held for less than one year.


If stocks were held for more than one year, the IRS treats them differently, applying a lower gains tax.


Schedule D is used to determine capital gains made on the sale of a home. Taxpayers who used the home as a primary residence for the last two of five years and made less than $250,000 ($500,000 if married) may not have to file Schedule D.


If sales proceeds exceeded the threshold amount, the property was used as an investment or the taxpayer did not live in the home for the last two of five years, then Schedule D must be filed.

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