A few years ago, I was buying gold likeso many others. I did this by purchasing shares in a Canadian mutual fund company that held bullion. I sold my shares in 2011 for a small capital gain. At first, I thought I would pay tax at the low 15 percent capital gains rate, or perhaps at the higher rate for collectibles, but as I researched the rules on taxation of foreign-based mutual funds, I determined I would have to pay tax on my profit in the highest bracket for ordinary income of 35 percent.

I am a small-town practitioner and my clients are unsophisticated middle-class taxpayers. The 35 percent rate on foreign investment companies was news to me.

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