How to Avoid Big Taxes on Capital Gains From Mutual Funds

how to avoid big taxes

How to Avoid Big Taxes on Capital Gains From Mutual Funds

Many people who own mutual funds know they are typically a good way to save on taxes because capital gains are taxed at about half the rate of regular income. It’s one of the most common ways that the super rich make so much money and still pay a lot less in taxes. However, for those who have owned certain mutual funds for a long period of time, the taxman is going to come knocking this year.

Selloffs Means Realized Gains

That’s because financial experts expect several mutual funds to give out large capital gains to those who own shares. That means those shareholders can expect to pay taxes on them. That includes stock mutual funds that recently sold after bringing large gains with them from 2013. So why is this happening? Because mutual funds have to distribute actual gains every year to their shareholders. Why is 2014 different? This year, because there have been many big stock selloffs, those who manage both stock funds and bonds might have to finally realize their gains.

Time to Pay Finally Up

In the past, many investors have been using those taxable gains to help offset their losses from 2008 and 2009 when the stock market was hit extremely hard. They have been carrying those losses since then, but for many, those losses are now all used up. That means they have to take the full brunt of this year’s gains. If those gains are considered long-term, then the tax rate is usually 15 percent. However, anyone in the top tax bracket can expect a capital gains tax rate of 20 percent.

Stock Funds Could Be Hit Harder

Meanwhile, for those who invest in stock funds, the news could be even tougher to swallow. According to one financial analyst, the U.S. domestic stock funds gains might reach as high as 20 percent, which means those investors could pay as much as much as 16-17 percent of their value as gains to those who hold shares. One important fact to keep in mind, however, is that investors who carry mutual funds in retirement accounts do not have to pay taxes on fund earnings every year.

Savings Strategies

For those who don’t fall into this category, there is little they can do to offset this issue. However, there are some strategies that could lessen the blow. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

  • If you happened to have recently purchased these mutual funds then you might want to sell them promptly. If you get out before the gains are distributed you could avoid the tax.
  • Don’t buy any mutual funds for the rest of this year until you know when the company is distributing its gains. Buying before the distribution could mean you miss out on the actual gains but you would still be liable for the tax.
  • If you have lost any money from other funds or stocks then now might be the time to sell those shares and take the loss. That could help offset your gains from strong performing mutual funds.
  • Just take your pill and swallow it, so to speak. Even if you do have to pay a tax on your capital gains, remember that 15-20 percent is still lower than rate for regular income.

Follow GROCO on Facebook

Contact Us


We hope you found this article about “How to Avoid Big Taxes on Capital Gains From Mutual Funds” helpful.  If you have questions or need expert tax or family office advice that’s refreshingly objective (we never sell investments), please contact us or visit our Family office page  or our website at  Unfortunately, we no longer give advice to other tax professionals gratis.

To receive our free newsletter, contact us here.

Subscribe our YouTube Channel for more updates.

Alan Olsen, CPA

Alan Olsen, is the Host of the American Dreams Show and the Managing Partner of  GROCO is a premier family office and tax advisory firm located in the San Francisco Bay area serving clients all over the world.


Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio is a proud sponsor of The American Dreams Show.



The American Dreams show was the brainchild of Alan Olsen, CPA, MBA. It was originally created to fill a specific need; often inexperienced entrepreneurs lacked basic information about raising capital and how to successfully start a business.

Alan sincerely wanted to respond to the many requests from aspiring entrepreneurs asking for the information and introductions they needed. But he had to find a way to help in which his venture capital clients and friends would not mind.

The American Dreams show became the solution, first as a radio show and now with YouTube videos as well. Always respectful of interview guest’s time, he’s able to give access to individuals information and inspiration previously inaccessible to the first-time entrepreneurs who need it most.

They can listen to venture capitalists and successful business people explain first-hand, how they got to where they are, how to start a company, how to overcome challenges, how they see the future evolving, opportunities, work-life balance and so much more..

American Dreams discusses many topics from some of the world’s most successful individuals about their secrets to life’s success. Topics from guest have included:

Creating purpose in life / Building a foundation for their life / Solving problems / Finding fulfillment through philanthropy and service / Becoming self-reliant / Enhancing effective leadership / Balancing family and work…

Untitled_Artwork copy 4 (Also sponsored by GROCO) provides free access to content and world-class entrepreneurs, influencers and thought leaders’ personal success stories. To help you find your path in life to true, sustainable success & happiness.  It’s mission statement:

In an increasingly complex and difficult world, we hope to help you find your personal path in life and build a strong foundation by learning how others found success and happiness. True and sustainable success and happiness are different for each one of us but possible, often despite significant challenges.

Our mission at is to provide resources and firsthand accounts of how others found their paths in life, so you can do the same.

Posted in

Chester Wooley on Where Philanthropy and Venture Capital Meet

Geoff “Chester” Wooley, Co-founder Patamar Capital and current board member of SKS Microfinance, India’s largest microfinance bank, discusses where philanthropy and venture capital meet on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show. Transcript:   Geoff Woolley  0:00   Philanthropy and a family office’s investing is quite separate from each other. Depending on the size of the family office, its foundation or…

The Future of ESG and Impact Investing with Michael Meehan

The Future of ESG and Impact Investing with Michael Meehan

Michael Meehan, Co-founder, Canoe Carbon, Forum for Impact, and former CEO, GRI discusses the future of ESG and impact investing on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show. Transcript:   Alan Olsen  Michael, you have a remarkable story. And for the listeners here, can you share your background and how it got you to where you are today?   Michael…

Becky Douglas on Saving Leper Colony Children

Becky Douglas on Transforming Leprosy Colonies in India

Becky Douglas, founder of Rising Star Outreach, a non-profit dedicated to saving and transforming the lives of children and their parents affected by leprosy in India, discusses how it became reality on Alan Olsen’s American Dreams Show. Rising Star Outreach born from tragedy. Becky’s journey to helping leper colonies in India began with a personal tragedy that transformed…

Unveiling Entrepreneurial Success with Randi Brill

Unveiling Entrepreneurial Success with Randi Brill

Randi Brill, best-selling author and CCO of Just Call Randi Design Agency discusses unveiling entrepreneurial success on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show. Transcript: Alan Olsen Hi, this is Alan Olsen and welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Randy brill. Ready welcome to today’s show.   Randi Brill Thank you, Alan. I’m glad to be here.  …