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Fund Spy

Caution: Tax Bills Ahead

A survey of this season's capital gains distribution estimates.

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Ah, fall. The season of dubious pumpkin recipes, Chicago Bears quarterback controversies, and mutual fund capital gains distribution estimates. Yes, we're well into the time of year when fund companies try to give their investors an idea of what their 2013 tax bills may look like by estimating how much their funds will distribute in income and capital gains. After four years of rebounding equity markets, the companies have good news and bad news: Most funds have made money, but in many cases--because of manager changes, persistent outflows, or a depleted store of losses that can be used to offset realized gains--funds will make (or, in some cases, have already made) sizable distributions.

In recent weeks, Morningstar analysts trolled through the distribution estimates from some of the largest and most prominent fund families and found some whoppers and a couple of trends. Here are some funds that, based on estimates issued in October and November, expect to make hefty distributions in mid- to late-December.

Dan Culloton does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.