There are a few varying definitions of capital assets. For this article, capital assets will refer to anything owned at a high value whether at a person’s home or in business, with a few exceptions.
Capital assets at home include the property itself, jewelry (made of gold or silver, with precious stones), automobiles, painting and sculptures or statues, rare books, mint-conditioned collectibles such as baseball cards, and other family heirlooms. More conventional objects, however, such as clothing, furniture, and appliances can be treated as capital assets when sold.
Capital assets in a company are treated and used differently from other objects in the office. For example, computers in a small company are treated as capital assets, but staplers, stapler bullets, pencils, and other office supplies are seen as consumable products. Office supplies only become assets if the company itself is an office supply store or a company of a similar nature.
Another important bit of information to note is that the statuses of computers are also varied. In small companies, as mentioned above, they are treated as capital assets. However, for larger companies with over 500 or more employees, ordinary desktop and laptop computers are consumable.
Capital gains or losses is the profit or loss people incur when they sell their capital assets, on the basis of the actual selling price minus the owner’s projected selling price.
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