National tax experts agree – capital gains taxes are income taxes

About the Author
Jason Mercier
Director, Center for Government Reform

There are few things that can unite national tax think tanks. One thing they all agree on, however, is that taxes on capital gains are income taxes. I asked national tax groups today if capital gains taxes are classified as an excise/sales tax or income tax. The responses are starting to come in (will update as received):

  • Urban Institute: “Income tax."
  • Center for American Progress: "Income tax."
  • Progressive Policy Institute: “Capital gains taxes would be considered a form of income tax: the gains are income generated by an owned asset the same way wages are income generated by labor.”
  • Tax Foundation: "It is an income tax. Capital gains constitute income and, when taxed, are taxed accordingly.”
  • IRS: "It is an income tax. More specifically, capital gains are treated as income under the tax code and taxed as such."

It appears a trend is developing.

Additional Information
Income tax on capital gains: Follow the bouncing ball edition
A Capital Gains Tax IS an Income Tax: Irrefutable Proof in About Two Minutes
BAD POLICY: An Income Tax on Capital Gains for Washington
Washington Capital Gains Proposal Not Helped by Analogy to Real Estate Excise Tax

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