Gains and Losses

If you sell a municipal bond for a profit before it matures, you may generate capital gains. Long-term capital gains (which require a 12-month holding period) resulting from the sale of tax-exempt municipal bonds are currently taxed at a maximum rate of 15%. Of course, if you sell your security for less than your original purchase price, you may incur a capital loss. Under current law, up to $3,000 of net capital losses can be used annually to reduce ordinary income. Capital losses can be used without limit to reduce capital gains. A municipal bond purchased at a premium or a discount and called or sold before maturity is subject to special rules. Since tax laws frequently change, consult with your tax lawyer or accountant for up-to-date advice.


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