I recently discovered that capital gains for 2013 can be tax free. If your adjusted taxable income is in the 15% tax bracket, you will pay no tax on gains up to the 15% percent limit of 72,500.
I know this may not mean much to the baller's in here, but it is a big deal for my wife and I this year. I have a modest income over this threshold, but combined with our deductions we are under the 72.5k threshold. My wife, a lawyer that took some time off, normally brings in enough income that we would not be able to take advantage of this. But for 2013, I have sold some appreciated stock to fill the 15% bracket tax free!
It can be used strategically - I would take those gains - being careful not to knock yourself out of the bracket, but take as much gains as you can, then immediately reinvest into Roth (up to the max) and that yields double non-taxed benefits. Consult your tax professional, but I believe my idea will work.
quote: You're right. Anything over 72.5k is taxed at 30% until you back fill the tax on the gains up to that level. At least that's the way I read it.
You are not differentiating LT vs ST capital gains in your post. If you have ST gains it is treated as ordinary income and would be taxed at your marginal income tax rate + state taxes if applicable. If you have LT capital gains and/or qualified dividends they would be at 0% until breaching $72.5k income, then 15% LT cap gain rate + state tax if applicable.