April 26, 2021

Federal Capital Gains Tax Collections, Historical Data (1954-2018)

Taxes Paid on Capital Gains for Returns with Positive Net Capital Gains, 1954-2018
Tax Year Total Realized  Capital Gains ($ millions) Taxes Paid on Capital Gains ($ millions) Average Effective Tax Rate (%) Realized Gains as a Percent of GDP (%) Maximum Tax Rate (%)
1954 7,157 1,010 14.1 1.83 25.00
1955 9,881 1,465 14.8 2.32 25.00
1956 9,683 1,402 14.5 2.15 25.00
1957 8,110 1,115 13.7 1.71 25.00
1958 9,440 1,309 13.9 1.96 25.00
1959 13,137 1,920 14.6 2.51 25.00
1960 11,747 1,687 14.4 2.16 25.00
1961 16,001 2,481 15.5 2.84 25.00
1962 13,451 1,954 14.5 2.22 25.00
1963 14,579 2,143 14.7 2.28 25.00
1964 17,431 2,482 14.2 2.54 25.00
1965 21,484 3,003 14.0 2.89 25.00
1966 21,348 2,905 13.6 2.62 25.00
1967 27,535 4,112 14.9 3.20 25.00
1968 35,607 5,943 16.7 3.78 26.90
1969 31,439 5,275 16.8 3.08 27.50
1970 20,848 3,161 15.2 1.94 32.21
1971 28,341 4,350 15.3 2.43 34.25
1972 35,869 5,708 15.9 2.80 36.50
1973 35,757 5,366 15.0 2.50 36.50
1974 30,217 4,253 14.1 1.95 36.50
1975 30,903 4,534 14.7 1.83 36.50
1976 39,492 6,621 16.8 2.10 39.875
1977 45,338 8,232 18.2 2.17 39.875
1978 50,526 9,104 18.0 2.14 39.875/33.85
1979 73,443 11,753 16.0 2.79 28.00
1980 74,132 12,459 16.8 2.59 28.00
1981 80,938 12,852 15.9 2.52 28.00/20.00
1982 90,153 12,900 14.3 2.70 20.00
1983 122,773 18,700 15.2 3.37 20.00
1984 140,500 21,453 15.3 3.48 20.00
1985 171,985 26,460 15.4 3.96 20.00
1986 327,725 52,914 16.1 7.14 20.00
1987 148,449 33,714 22.7 3.05 28.00
1988 162,592 38,866 23.9 3.10 28.00
1989 154,040 35,258 22.9 2.72 28.00
1990 123,783 27,829 22.5 2.07 28.00
1991 111,592 24,903 22.3 1.81 28.93
1992 126,692 28,983 22.9 1.94 28.93
1993 152,259 36,112 23.7 2.21 29.19
1994 152,727 36,243 23.7 2.09 29.19
1995 180,130 44,254 24.6 2.35 29.19
1996 260,696 66,396 25.5 3.22 29.19
1997 364,829 79,305 21.7 4.24 29.19/21.19
1998 455,223 89,069 19.6 5.01 21.19
1999 552,608 111,821 20.2 5.72 21.19
2000 644,285 127,297 19.8 6.26 21.19
2001 349,441 65,668 18.8 3.29 21.17
2002 268,615 49,122 18.3 2.45 21.16
2003 323,306 51,340 15.9 2.81 21.05/16.05
2004 499,154 73,213 14.7 4.07 16.05
2005 690,152 102,174 14.8 5.27 16.05
2006 798,214 117,793 14.8 5.76 15.70
2007 924,164 137,141 14.8 6.38 15.70
2008 497,841 68,791 13.8 3.38 15.35
2009 263,460 36,686 13.9 1.83 15.35
2010 394,230 55,017 14.0 2.63 15.00
2011 404,344 56,682 14.0 2.61 15.00
2012 647,073 91,178 14.1 4.01 15.00
2013 510,530 98,798 19.4 3.06 25.10
2014 716,162 139,127 19.4 4.02 25.10
2015 725,161 138,000   3.97 25.10
2016 641,100 129,000   3.42 25.10
2017 871,265 141,000   4.46 25.10
2018 943,963 170,000   4.58 23.80

Note:  Includes short and long-term net positive gains. Long-term gains excluded prior to 1987 are included in realized capital gains. Data for each year include some prior year returns. (a) The maximum tax rate includes effects of exclusions (1954-1986), alternative tax rates (1954-1986; 1991-1996), the minimum tax (1970-1978), alternative minimum tax (1979-1996), income tax surcharges (1968-1970), and the 3% floor under itemized deductions (1991-1998). Capital gains taxes for 2015 to 2018 are estimated on a fiscal year basis from the Congressional Budget Office.

Midyear rate changes occurred in 1978, 1981, 1997 and 2003.

Source: Treasury Department, Congressional Budget Office

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Itemized deductions allow individuals to subtract designated expenses from their taxable income and can be claimed in lieu of the standard deduction. Itemized deductions include those for state and local taxes, charitable contributions, and mortgage interest. An estimated 13.7 percent of filers itemized in 2019, most being high-income taxpayers. 

A capital gains tax is levied on the profit made from selling an asset and is often in addition to corporate income taxes, frequently resulting in double taxation. Capital gains taxes create a bias against saving, leading to a lower level of national income by encouraging present consumption over investment.