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The Tax Foundation is the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit. Since 1937, our principled research, insightful analysis, and engaged experts have informed smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and global levels. For over 80 years, our goal has remained the same: to improve lives through tax policies that lead to greater economic growth and opportunity.
Taxes, in some form, have been around since the beginning of civilization and, whether you know it or not, they impact just about every aspect of our lives. But how much do you really know about taxes? What are they for? What different types of taxes are there? How do they affect behavior, business, and what’s in your pocket? Taxes may be a fact of life, but they’re certainly not simple. That is why Tax Foundation launched Tax Basics, a resource for learning about and understanding various forms of taxes, how they work, and how they impact you.
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.
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