Dear President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin,
On behalf of the following organizations representing millions of American taxpayers, we write to strongly recommend that you end the tax injustice that is currently included in the computation of capital gains. Specifically, we request an Executive Order that would index capital gains to inflation so that taxpayers do not pay taxes on “phantom” gains.
For much the same reason that income tax brackets were indexed to inflation over 30 years ago, we believe that it is only a matter of fairness to do the same for capital gains.
For example, if someone saving for retirement purchased an S&P index fund for $1000 in 1997 and dutifully held it for 20 years, they could now sell it for $2665. That’s a gain of $1665. Unfortunately, the full amount would be subject to taxation. But $538 of that $1665 isn’t a real gain at all. It’s phantom income that was eaten away because of inflation. And yet, taxpayers are currently forced to pay taxes on this nonexistent income.