Capital gains and the people who realize them

Leonard E. Burman, Peter D. Ricoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper draws on data from many sources to examine the nature of both capital gains realized by taxpayers and those taxpayers themselves. The data show that high-income taxpayers realize the overwhelming majority of capital gains, but that, over a ten-year period, nearly a third of taxpayers report a capital gain on their tax returns. Even a larger percentage own assets that might generate capital gains. Sales of corporate stock account for more gains than sales of any other asset. Most capital gains arise from returns with many sales and large capital gains. After adjustment for inflation, most capital gains disappear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-451
Number of pages25
JournalNational Tax Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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