Inflation and Capital Gains

4 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2012

Date Written: June 2, 1997


All tax theorists recognize that capital gains taxes ought to apply only to real gains; that is, those that are adjusted for inflation. This has never been the case in American history. As a consequence, a considerable portion of inflationary gains have been taxed as if they are real, according to numerous studies. Historically, Congress has excluded a portion of gains from taxation as compensation for the effects of inflation.

Keywords: inflation, capital gains, Jacob Viner, Richard Goode, Richard Musgrave, Joseph A. Pechman, Robert M. Haig, H.C. Simons

JEL Classification: H20, K34

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, Inflation and Capital Gains (June 2, 1997). Tax Notes, Vol. 75, No. 9, 1997, Available at SSRN:

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