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previous page Previous Page: Publication 551 - Basis of Assets - Adjusted Basis
next page Next Page: Publication 551 - Basis of Assets - How To Get Tax Help
 Use previous pagenext page to find additional occurrences of topic items.Index for this Publication
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP6f2b93ad

Basis Other Than Cost


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previous topic occurrence Basis Other Than Cost next topic occurrence

There are many times when you cannot use cost as basis. In these cases, the fair market value or the adjusted basis of property may be used. Adjusted basis is discussed earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP2f1c4016

Fair market value (FMV).


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FMV is the price at which property would change hands between a buyer and a seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all necessary facts. Sales of similar property on or about the same date may be helpful in figuring the property's FMV.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP03b18e77

Property Received  
for Services


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previous topic occurrence Property Received for Services next topic occurrence

If you receive property for services, include the property's FMV in income. The amount you include in income becomes your basis. If the services were performed for a price agreed on beforehand, it will be accepted as the FMV of the property if there is no evidence to the contrary.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP6693fb97

Bargain Purchases


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Bargain Purchases

A bargain purchase is a purchase of an item for less than its FMV. If, as compensation for services, you purchase goods or other property at less than FMV, include the difference between the purchase price and the property's FMV in your income. Your basis in the property is its FMV (your purchase price plus the amount you include in income).
If the difference between your purchase price and the FMV represents a qualified employee discount, do not include the difference in income. However, your basis in the property is still its FMV. See Employee Discounts in Publication 15–B, Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP1199ab90

Restricted Property


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previous topic occurrence Restricted Property next topic occurrence

If you receive property for your services and the property is subject to certain restrictions, your basis in the property is its FMV when it becomes substantially vested unless you make the election discussed later. Property becomes substantially vested when your rights in the property or the rights of any person to whom you transfer the property are not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture.
There is substantial risk of forfeiture when the rights to full enjoyment of the property depend on the future performance of substantial services by any person.
When the property becomes substantially vested, include the FMV, less any amount you paid for the property, in income.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP69453a8f

Example.

Your employer gives you stock for services performed under the condition that you will have to return the stock unless you complete 5 years of service. The stock is under a substantial risk of forfeiture and is not substantially vested when you receive it. You do not report any income until you have completed the 5 years of service that satisfy the condition.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP309df49e

Fair market value.


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Figure the FMV of property you received without considering any restriction except one that by its terms will never end.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP452685f7

Example.

You received stock from your employer for services you performed. If you want to sell the stock while you are still employed, you must sell the stock to your employer at book value. At your retirement or death, you or your estate must offer to sell the stock to your employer at its book value. This is a restriction that by its terms will never end and you must consider it when you figure the FMV.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP355d66ad

Election.


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You can choose to include in your gross income the FMV of the property at the time of transfer, less any amount you paid for it. If you make this choice, the substantially vested rules do not apply. Your basis is the amount you paid plus the amount you included in income.
See the discussion of Restricted Property in Publication 525 for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP628ae3bd

Taxable Exchanges


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previous topic occurrence Taxable Exchanges next topic occurrence

A taxable exchange is one in which the gain is taxable or the loss is deductible. A taxable gain or deductible loss is also known as a recognized gain or loss. If you receive property in exchange for other property in a taxable exchange, the basis of property you receive is usually its FMV at the time of the exchange. A taxable exchange occurs when you receive cash or property not similar or related in use to the property exchanged.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP0bea1f88

Example.

You trade a tract of farm land with an adjusted basis of $3,000 for a tractor that has an FMV of $6,000. You must report a taxable gain of $3,000 for the land. The tractor has a basis of $6,000.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP4806f581

Involuntary Conversions


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If you receive property as a result of an involuntary conversion, such as a casualty, theft, or condemnation, you can figure the basis of the replacement property you receive using the basis of the converted property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP72031a8c

Similar or related property.


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If you receive replacement property similar or related in service or use to the converted property, the replacement property's basis is the old property's basis on the date of the conversion. However, make the following adjustments.
  1. Decrease the basis by the following.
    1. Any loss you recognize on the conversion.
    2. Any money you receive that you do not spend on similar property.
  2. Increase the basis by the following.
    1. Any gain you recognize on the conversion.
    2. Any cost of acquiring the replacement property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP3ebe8bd9

Money or property not similar or related.


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If you receive money or property not similar or related in service or use to the converted property, and you buy replacement property similar or related in service or use to the converted property, the basis of the new property is its cost decreased by the gain not recognized on the conversion.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP62addb43

Example.

The state condemned your property. The property had an adjusted basis of $26,000 and the state paid you $31,000 for it. You realized a gain of $5,000 ($31,000 − $26,000). You bought replacement property similar in use to the converted property for $29,000. You recognize a gain of $2,000 ($31,000 − $29,000), the unspent part of the payment from the state. Your gain not recognized is $3,000, the difference between the $5,000 realized gain and the $2,000 recognized gain. The basis of the new property is figured as follows:
Cost of replacement property$29,000
Minus: Gain not recognized3,000
Basis of the replacement property$26,000
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP01abd4e4

Allocating the basis.


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If you buy more than one piece of replacement property, allocate your basis among the properties based on their respective costs.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP24857215

Example.

The state in the previous example condemned your unimproved real property and the replacement property you bought was improved real property with both land and buildings. Allocate the replacement property's $26,000 basis between land and buildings based on their respective costs.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP6c3fceea

More information.


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For more information about condemnations, see Involuntary Conversions in Publication 544. For more information about casualty and theft losses, see Publication 547.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP785ec9cd

Nontaxable Exchanges


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Words you may need to know (see Glossary)

A nontaxable exchange is an exchange in which you are not taxed on any gain and you cannot deduct any loss. If you receive property in a nontaxable exchange, its basis is usually the same as the basis of the property you transferred. A nontaxable gain or loss is also known as an unrecognized gain or loss.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP170f038b

Like-Kind Exchanges


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previous topic occurrence 1031 Like-Kind Exchange next topic occurrence

The exchange of property for the same kind of property is the most common type of nontaxable exchange.
To qualify as a like-kind exchange, you must hold for business or investment purposes both the property you transfer and the property you receive. There must also be an exchange of like-kind property. For more information, see Like-Kind Exchanges in Publication 544.
The basis of the property you receive is the same as the basis of the property you gave up.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP50f1f488

Example.

You exchange real estate (adjusted basis $50,000, FMV $80,000) held for investment for other real estate (FMV $80,000) held for investment. Your basis in the new property is the same as the basis of the old ($50,000).
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP13909582

Exchange expenses.


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Exchange expenses are generally the closing costs you pay. They include such items as brokerage commissions, attorney fees, deed preparation fees, etc. Add them to the basis of the like-kind property received.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP37932a4f

Property plus cash.


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If you trade property in a like-kind exchange and also pay money, the basis of the property received is the basis of the property you gave up increased by the money you paid.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP0f464ee3

Example.

You trade in a truck (adjusted basis $3,000) for another truck (FMV $7,500) and pay $4,000. Your basis in the new truck is $7,000 (the $3,000 basis of the old truck plus the $4,000 paid).
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP34990281

Special rules for related persons.


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If a like-kind exchange takes place directly or indirectly between related persons and either party disposes of the property within 2 years after the exchange, the exchange no longer qualifies for like-kind exchange treatment. Each person must report any gain or loss not recognized on the original exchange. Each person reports it on the tax return filed for the year in which the later disposition occurs. If this rule applies, the basis of the property received in the original exchange will be its fair market value.
These rules generally do not apply to the following kinds of property dispositions.
  1. Dispositions due to the death of either related person.
  2. Involuntary conversions.
  3. Dispositions in which neither the original exchange nor the subsequent disposition had as a main purpose the avoidance of federal income tax.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP156ba7d5

Related persons.
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Generally, related persons are ancestors, lineal descendants, brothers and sisters (whole or half), and a spouse.
For other related persons (for example, two corporations, an individual and a corporation, a grantor and fiduciary, etc.), see Nondeductible Loss in chapter 2 of Publication 544.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP1cdcc389

Exchange of business property.


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Exchanging the assets of one business for the assets of another business is a multiple property exchange. For information on figuring basis, see Multiple Property Exchanges in chapter 1 of Publication 544.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP7f91cec6

Partially Nontaxable Exchange


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A partially nontaxable exchange is an exchange in which you receive unlike property or money in addition to like property. The basis of the property you receive is the same as the basis of the property you gave up, with the following adjustments.
  1. Decrease the basis by the following amounts.
    1. Any money you receive.
    2. Any loss you recognize on the exchange.
  2. Increase the basis by the following amounts.
    1. Any additional costs you incur.
    2. Any gain you recognize on the exchange.
If the other party to the exchange assumes your liabilities, treat the debt assumption as money you received in the exchange.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP5e8719a9

Example.

You traded a truck (adjusted basis $6,000) for a new truck (FMV $5,200) and $1,000 cash. You realized a gain of $200 ($6,200 − $6,000). This is the FMV of the truck received plus the cash minus the adjusted basis of the truck you traded ($5,200 + $1,000 – $6,000). You include all the gain in income (recognized gain) because the gain is less than the cash received. Your basis in the new truck is:
Adjusted basis of old truck$6,000
Minus: Cash received (adjustment 1(a))1,000
 $5,000
Plus: Gain recognized (adjustment 2(b))200
Basis of new truck$5,200
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP5ce83ed4

Allocation of basis.


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Allocate the basis first to the unlike property, other than money, up to its FMV on the date of the exchange. The rest is the basis of the like property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP3c569b42

Example.

You had an adjusted basis of $15,000 in real estate you held for investment. You exchanged it for other real estate to be held for investment with an FMV of $12,500, a truck with an FMV of $3,000, and $1,000 cash. The truck is unlike property. You realized a gain of $1,500 ($16,500 − $15,000). This is the FMV of the real estate received plus the FMV of the truck received plus the cash minus the adjusted basis of the real estate you traded ($12,500 + $3,000 + $1,000 – $15,000). You include in income (recognize) all $1,500 of the gain because it is less than the FMV of the unlike property plus the cash received. Your basis in the properties you received is figured as follows.
Adjusted basis of real estate transferred$15,000
Minus: Cash received (adjustment 1(a)) 1,000
 $14,000
Plus: Gain recognized (adjustment 2(b)) 1,500
Total basis of properties received$15,500
Allocate the total basis of $15,500 first to the unlike property — the truck ($3,000). This is the truck's FMV. The rest ($12,500) is the basis of the real estate.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP45bb52f3

Sale and Purchase


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If you sell property and buy similar property in two mutually dependent transactions, you may have to treat the sale and purchase as a single nontaxable exchange.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP79873324

Example.

You are a salesperson and you use one of your cars 100% for business. You have used this car in your sales activities for 2 years and have depreciated it. Your adjusted basis in the car is $22,600 and its FMV is $23,100. You are interested in a new car, which sells for $28,000. If you trade your old car and pay $4,900 for the new one, your basis for depreciation for the new car would be $27,500 ($4,900 plus the $22,600 basis of your old car). However, you want a higher basis for depreciating the new car, so you agree to pay the dealer $28,000 for the new car if he will pay you $23,100 for your old car. Because the two transactions are dependent on each other, you are treated as having exchanged your old car for the new one and paid $4,900 ($28,000 − $23,100). Your basis for depreciating the new car is $27,500, the same as if you traded the old car.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP1feff844

Partial Business Use of Property


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Partial Business Use of Property

If you have property used partly for business and partly for personal use, and you exchange it in a nontaxable exchange for property to be used wholly or partly in your business, the basis of the property you receive is figured as if you had exchanged two properties. The first is an exchange of like-kind property. The second is personal-use property on which gain is recognized and loss is not recognized.
First, figure your adjusted basis in the property as if you transferred two separate properties. Figure the adjusted basis of each part of the property by taking into account any adjustments to basis. Deduct the depreciation you took or could have taken from the adjusted basis of the business part. Then figure the amount realized for your property and allocate it to the business and nonbusiness parts of the property.
The business part of the property is permitted to be exchanged tax free. However, you must recognize any gain from the exchange of the nonbusiness part. You are deemed to have received, in exchange for the nonbusiness part, an amount equal to its FMV on the date of the exchange. The basis of the property you acquired is the total basis of the property transferred (adjusted to the date of the exchange), increased by any gain recognized on the nonbusiness part.
Deposit
If the nonbusiness part of the property transferred is your main home, you may qualify to exclude from income all or part of the gain on that part. For more information, see Publication 523.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP67128d6c

Trade of car used partly in business.


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If you trade in a car you used partly in your business for another car you will use in your business, your basis for depreciation of the new car is not the same as your basis for figuring a gain or loss on its sale.
For information on figuring your basis for depreciation, see Publication 463.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP7bf87228

Property Transferred  
From a Spouse


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The basis of property transferred to you or transferred in trust for your benefit by your spouse (or former spouse if the transfer is incident to divorce), is the same as your spouse's adjusted basis. However, adjust your basis for any gain recognized by your spouse or former spouse on property transferred in trust. This rule applies only to a transfer of property in trust in which the liabilities assumed, plus the liabilities to which the property is subject, are more than the adjusted basis of the property transferred.
If the property transferred to you is a series E, series EE, or series I United States savings bond, the transferor must include in income the interest accrued to the date of transfer. Your basis in the bond immediately after the transfer is equal to the transferor's basis increased by the interest income includible in the transferor's income. For more information on these bonds, see Publication 550.
At the time of the transfer, the transferor must give you the records necessary to determine the adjusted basis and holding period of the property as of the date of transfer.
For more information, see Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP47de0505

Property  
Received as a Gift


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To figure the basis of property you receive as a gift, you must know its adjusted basis (defined earlier) to the donor just before it was given to you, its FMV at the time it was given to you, and any gift tax paid on it.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP17bdf3bb

FMV Less Than  
Donor's Adjusted Basis


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If the FMV of the property at the time of the gift is less than the donor's adjusted basis, your basis depends on whether you have a gain or a loss when you dispose of the property. Your basis for figuring gain is the same as the donor's adjusted basis plus or minus any required adjustment to basis while you held the property. Your basis for figuring loss is its FMV when you received the gift plus or minus any required adjustment to basis while you held the property (see Adjusted Basis, earlier).
If you use the donor's adjusted basis for figuring a gain and get a loss, and then use the FMV for figuring a loss and have a gain, you have neither gain nor loss on the sale or disposition of the property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP6349fb8d

Example.

You received an acre of land as a gift. At the time of the gift, the land had an FMV of $8,000. The donor's adjusted basis was $10,000. After you received the land, no events occurred to increase or decrease your basis. If you sell the land for $12,000, you will have a $2,000 gain because you must use the donor's adjusted basis ($10,000) at the time of the gift as your basis to figure gain. If you sell the land for $7,000, you will have a $1,000 loss because you must use the FMV ($8,000) at the time of the gift as your basis to figure a loss.
If the sales price is between $8,000 and $10,000, you have neither gain nor loss. For instance, if the sales price was $9,000 and you tried to figure a gain using the donor's adjusted basis ($10,000), you would get a $1,000 loss. If you then tried to figure a loss using the FMV ($8,000), you would get a $1,000 gain.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP46dbc120

Business property.


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If you hold the gift as business property, your basis for figuring any depreciation, depletion, or amortization deduction is the same as the donor's adjusted basis plus or minus any required adjustments to basis while you hold the property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP39199cf2

FMV Equal to or More Than  
Donor's Adjusted Basis


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If the FMV of the property is equal to or greater than the donor's adjusted basis, your basis is the donor's adjusted basis at the time you received the gift. Increase your basis by all or part of any gift tax paid, depending on the date of the gift.
Also, for figuring gain or loss from a sale or other disposition of the property, or for figuring depreciation, depletion, or amortization deductions on business property, you must increase or decrease your basis by any required adjustments to basis while you held the property. See Adjusted Basis, earlier.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP236a0587

Gift received before 1977.


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If you received a gift before 1977, increase your basis in the gift (the donor's adjusted basis) by any gift tax paid on it. However, do not increase your basis above the FMV of the gift at the time it was given to you.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP07046608

Example 1.

You were given a house in 1976 with an FMV of $21,000. The donor's adjusted basis was $20,000. The donor paid a gift tax of $500. Your basis is $20,500, the donor's adjusted basis plus the gift tax paid.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP2127e915

Example 2.

If, in Example 1, the gift tax paid had been $1,500, your basis would be $21,000. This is the donor's adjusted basis plus the gift tax paid, limited to the FMV of the house at the time you received the gift.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP39da5c94

Gift received after 1976.


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If you received a gift after 1976, increase your basis in the gift (the donor's adjusted basis) by the part of the gift tax paid on it that is due to the net increase in value of the gift. Figure the increase by multiplying the gift tax paid by a fraction. The numerator of the fraction is the net increase in value of the gift and the denominator is the amount of the gift.
The net increase in value of the gift is the FMV of the gift less the donor's adjusted basis. The amount of the gift is its value for gift tax purposes after reduction by any annual exclusion and marital or charitable deduction that applies to the gift. For information on the gift tax, see Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift Taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP3a6d588a

Example.

In 2002, you received a gift of property from your mother that had an FMV of $50,000. Her adjusted basis was $20,000. The amount of the gift for gift tax purposes was $39,000 ($50,000 minus the $11,000 annual exclusion). She paid a gift tax of $9,000. Your basis, $26,930, is figured as follows:
Fair market value$50,000
Minus: Adjusted basis20,000
Net increase in value$30,000
Gift tax paid$9,000
Multiplied by ($30,000 ÷ $39,000).77
Gift tax due to net increase in value$6,930
Adjusted basis of property to your mother20,000
Your basis in the property$26,930
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP108f342f

Inherited Property


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Your basis in property you inherit from a decedent is generally one of the following.
  1. The FMV of the property at the date of the individual's death.
  2. The FMV on the alternate valuation date if the personal representative for the estate chooses to use alternate valuation. For information on the alternate valuation date, see the instructions for Form 706.
  3. The value under the special-use valuation method for real property used in farming or a closely held business if chosen for estate tax purposes. This method is discussed later.
  4. The decedent's adjusted basis in land to the extent of the value excluded from the decedent's taxable estate as a qualified conservation easement. For information on a qualified conservation easement, see the instructions to Form 706.
If a federal estate tax return does not have to be filed, your basis in the inherited property is its appraised value at the date of death for state inheritance or transmission taxes.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP0b03bbca

Appreciated property.


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The above rule does not apply to appreciated property you receive from a decedent if you or your spouse originally gave the property to the decedent within 1 year before the decedent's death. Your basis in this property is the same as the decedent's adjusted basis in the property immediately before his or her death, rather than its FMV. Appreciated property is any property whose FMV on the day it was given to the decedent is more than its adjusted basis.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP29bf27d2

Community Property


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previous topic occurrence Community Property next topic occurrence

In community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin), husband and wife are each usually considered to own half the community property. When either spouse dies, the total value of the community property, even the part belonging to the surviving spouse, generally becomes the basis of the entire property. For this rule to apply, at least half the value of the community property interest must be includable in the decedent's gross estate, whether or not the estate must file a return.
For example, you and your spouse owned community property that had a basis of $80,000. When your spouse died, half the FMV of the community interest was includible in your spouse's estate. The FMV of the community interest was $100,000. The basis of your half of the property after the death of your spouse is $50,000 (half of the $100,000 FMV). The basis of the other half to your spouse's heirs is also $50,000.
For more information on community property, see Publication 555, Community Property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP4c91c5c4

Property Held by Surviving Tenant


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Property Held by Surviving Tenant

The following example explains the rule for the basis of property held by a surviving tenant in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP663a2e41

Example.

John and Jim owned, as joint tenants with right of survivorship, business property they purchased for $30,000. John furnished two-thirds of the purchase price and Jim furnished one-third. Depreciation deductions allowed before John's death were $12,000. Under local law, each had a half interest in the income from the property. At the date of John's death, the property had an FMV of $60,000, two-thirds of which is includable in John's estate. Jim figures his basis in the property at the date of John's death as follows:
Interest Jim bought with his own funds—1/3 of $30,000 cost $10,000 
Interest Jim received on John's death—2/3 of $60,000 FMV 40,000$50,000
Minus: 1/2 of $12,000 depreciation before John's death 6,000
Jim's basis at the date of John's death$44,000
If Jim had not contributed any part of the purchase price, his basis at the date of John's death would be $54,000. This is figured by subtracting from the $60,000 FMV, the $6,000 depreciation allocated to Jim's half interest before the date of death.
If under local law Jim had no interest in the income from the property and he contributed no part of the purchase price, his basis at John's death would be $60,000, the FMV of the property.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP3e67f9da

Qualified Joint Interest


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Qualified Joint Interest

Include one-half of the value of a qualified joint interest in the decedent's gross estate. It does not matter how much each spouse contributed to the purchase price. Also, it does not matter which spouse dies first.
A qualified joint interest is any interest in property held by husband and wife as either of the following.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP432f134c

Basis.


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As the surviving spouse, your basis in property you owned with your spouse as a qualified joint interest is the cost of your half of the property with certain adjustments. Decrease the cost by any deductions allowed to you for depreciation and depletion. Increase the reduced cost by your basis in the half you inherited.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP63f0b09a

Farm or Closely Held Business


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Farm or Closely Held Business

Under certain conditions, when a person dies the executor or personal representative of that person's estate can choose to value the qualified real property on other than its FMV. If so, the executor or personal representative values the qualified real property based on its use as a farm or its use in a closely held business. If the executor or personal representative chooses this method of valuation for estate tax purposes, that value is the basis of the property for the heirs. Qualified heirs should be able to get the necessary value from the executor or personal representative of the estate.
taxmap/pubs/p551-002.htm#TXMP4f7e473e

Special-use valuation.


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If you are a qualified heir who received special-use valuation property, your basis in the property is the estate's or trust's basis in that property immediately before the distribution. Increase your basis by any gain recognized by the estate or trust because of post-death appreciation. Post-death appreciation is the property's FMV on the date of distribution minus the property's FMV either on the date of the individual's death or the alternate valuation date. Figure all FMVs without regard to the special-use valuation.
You can elect to increase your basis in special-use valuation property if it becomes subject to the additional estate tax. This tax is assessed if, within 10 years after the death of the decedent, you transfer the property to a person who is not a member of your family or the property stops being used as a farm or in a closely held business.
To increase your basis in the property, you must make an irrevocable election and pay interest on the additional estate tax figured from the date 9 months after the decedent's death until the date of the payment of the additional estate tax. If you meet these requirements, increase your basis in the property to its FMV on the date of the decedent's death or the alternate valuation date. The increase in your basis is considered to have occurred immediately before the event that results in the additional estate tax.
You make the election by filing with Form 706-A a statement that does all of the following.
  1. Contains your name, address, and taxpayer identification number and those of the estate.
  2. Identifies the election as an election under section 1016(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  3. Specifies the property for which the election is made.
  4. Provides any additional information required by the Form 706-A instructions.
For more information, see the instructions to Form 706 and Form 706-A.
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Property Changed to  
Business or Rental Use


rule
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If you hold property for personal use and then change it to business use or use it to produce rent, you must figure its basis for depreciation. An example of changing property held for personal use to business use would be renting out your former main home.
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Basis for depreciation.


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The basis for depreciation is the lesser of the following amounts.
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Example.

Several years ago you paid $160,000 to have your home built on a lot that cost $25,000. You paid $20,000 for permanent improvements to the house and claimed a $2,000 casualty loss deduction for damage to the house before changing the property to rental use last year. Because land is not depreciable, you include only the cost of the house when figuring the basis for depreciation.
Your adjusted basis in the house when you changed its use was $178,000 ($160,000 + $20,000 − $2,000). On the same date, your property had an FMV of $180,000, of which $15,000 was for the land and $165,000 was for the house. The basis for figuring depreciation on the house is its FMV on the date of change ($165,000) because it is less than your adjusted basis ($178,000).
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Sale of property.


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If you later sell or dispose of property changed to business or rental use, the basis of the property you use will depend on whether you are figuring gain or loss.
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Gain.
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The basis for figuring a gain is your adjusted basis when you sell the property.
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Example.

Assume the same facts as in the previous example except that you sell the property at a gain after being allowed depreciation deductions of $37,500. Your adjusted basis for figuring gain is $165,500 ($178,000 + $25,000 (land) − $37,500).
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Loss.
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Figure the basis for a loss starting with the smaller of your adjusted basis or the FMV of the property at the time of the change to business or rental use. Then adjust this amount for the period after the change in the property's use, as discussed earlier under Adjusted Basis, to arrive at a basis for loss.
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Example.

Assume the same facts as in the previous example, except that you sell the property at a loss after being allowed depreciation deductions of $37,500. In this case, you would start with the FMV on the date of the change to rental use ($180,000) because it is less than the adjusted basis of $203,000 ($178,000 + $25,000) on that date. Reduce that amount ($180,000) by the depreciation deductions to arrive at a basis for loss of $142,500 ($180,000 − $37,500).
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