10 new tax law changes to know

While the Bush-era low capital gains tax rates remain in effect, the way many taxpayers will report these earnings has changed.

Taxpayers in the 10 percent and 15 percent income tax brackets still won’t owe any tax on their asset sale profits. But taxpayers in the four higher tax brackets will pay a 15 percent rate, and they now must record those capital gains or losses on the new Form 8949 for the 2011 tax year.

The IRS also has revised the Schedule D on which the final tax information is entered.

The new and revised forms were created to help the IRS better compare your asset sale filing with the information the tax agency receives from brokers and other money managers. Essentially, the extra work for you will let the IRS know you are properly accounting for all of your investment transactions and paying the appropriate amount of tax.