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Amount of capital gain


99999 = N.I.U. (Not in Universe).
99997 = Top Code.


For income tax purposes, CAPGAIN represents the numerical pre-tax capital gain accrued by an individual or tax-filing unit (such as a married couple filing a joint income tax return) over the course of the previous calendar year. A capital gain is a profit resulting from the sale or the increase in value of certain assets classified under federal income tax legislation as capital assets. This includes stocks and other investments, such as investment property. If investments or assets decreased in value, the result is capital loss (CAPLOSS). Both CAPLOSS and CAPGAIN report net losses and gains, respectively; at least one of them is always zero.

CAPGAIN, like other tax-related variables included in the ASEC CPS (ADJGINC, CAPLOSS, EITCRED, FEDRETIR, FEDTAX, FICA, FILESTAT, MARGTAX, STATETAX, TAXINC, and household level variable PROPTAX) was not determined by direct questioning of respondents. Rather, values for these variables come from the Census Bureau's tax model, which simulates individual tax returns to produce estimates of federal, state, and payroll taxes. The model incorporates information from non-CPS sources, such as the Internal Revenue Service's Statistics of Income series, the American Housing Survey, and the State Tax Handbook. For more information about the model, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-18RD. The IPUMS-CPS staff welcomes further information from users about the interpretation of this variable or other tax-related variables in the ASEC CPS.

CPS discontinued this variable after 2008.

Amounts for CAPGAIN are expressed in dollars of the given year, rather than in constant dollars adjusted for inflation. Users can adjust for inflation using Consumer Price Index adjustment factors.


Apart from the effects of inflation, CAPGAIN is largely comparable over time. Comparability may, however, be limited by changes in the Census Bureau's tax model. The Bureau implemented a new model to produce tax estimates in 2004, and the previous tax model was updated annually to account for changes in marginal tax rates.


  • Persons age 15+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1992 – 2008 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

Unharmonized Variables