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Capital Assets: A Guide for the Novice—With Tips for the Experienced  

Author:  Erik M. Jensen.

Source: Volume 33, Number 04, Summer 2016 , pp.47-66(20)

Journal of Taxation of Investments

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This article discusses what is usually thought of as a routine issue, but one that many people, including at least some tax professionals, get wrong: What is a capital asset for federal income tax purposes? For one thing, the term covers lots of property that almost no one thinks of as a capital asset, like your underwear. On the other hand, despite popular belief, the machinery you use in your business and the land on which your factory sits aren’t capital assets. The article considers these characterization issues, and, most important, discusses what difference it can make whether an item is a capital asset or not.

Keywords: capital asset, depreciation, property held for the production of income, property used in a trade or business, IRC Sec. 1221, IRC Sec. 1231 property

Affiliations:  1: Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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