Record Capital Gains Payouts! Experts Predict!

If the Nasdaq's 40 percent drop didn't hurt enough, wait until you see your tax bill. Experts say that investors could be hit twice as hard this year due to a bad stock market and a larger tax bite. They are predicting that mutual funds will pay out a record amount of capital gains this year.

Investors are learning this week what their distributions are, and indications are that the distributions could top last year's record of more than $200 billion. With federal capital gains taxes running 20 percent or more, bigger gains mean a windfall for the federal treasury. Of the 10 largest mutual funds in 2000, only three posted gains year-to-date: Investment Company of America, Washington Mutual Investors and Growth Fund of America, according to smartmoney.com.

Capital gains distributions hit a record last year of more than $200 billion, and have reached $690 billion in the last six years through this month, according to Lipper Inc., which tracks mutual fund data.

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