After-tax returns

Q – What kind of before-tax returns are required to realize an 8-10% after-tax return if we assume my marginal tax rate is in the highest bracket at the time of receiving the income? – C.P.

A – There is no clear-cut answer. It depends on how the money is received because of the different tax rates that apply to interest, dividends and capital gains. For interest income, which is taxed at the highest rate, you’d need a before-tax return of 15%-19% to achieve your after-tax objectives. Clearly, that is not feasible. But for capital gains, which have a much lower effective rate, a before-tax return of 10%-13% would do it. – G.P.