There are many times when you cannot use cost as basis. In these cases, the fair market value or the adjusted basis of the property can be used. Fair market value (FMV) and adjusted basis were discussed earlier.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172187
If you receive property for your services, include its 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/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172188
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. However, this rule does not apply if you make an election to include in income the FMV of the property at the time it is transferred to you, less any amount you paid for it. Property is substantially vested when it is transferable or when it is not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (you do not have a good chance of losing it). For more information, see Restricted Property in Publication 525. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172189
A bargain purchase is a purchase of an item for less than its FMV. If, as compensation for services, you buy 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 is 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. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172190
A taxable exchange is one in which the gain is taxable or the loss is deductible. A taxable gain or deductible loss also is known as a recognized gain or loss. If you receive property in exchange for other property in a taxable exchange, the basis of the property you receive is usually its FMV at the time of the exchange. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172191
If you receive replacement property as a result of an involuntary conversion, such as a casualty, theft, or condemnation, figure the basis of the replacement property using the basis of the converted property. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172192
If you receive replacement property similar or related in service or use to the converted property, the replacement property's basis is the same as the converted property's basis on the date of the conversion, with the following adjustments.
- Decrease the basis by the following.
- Any loss you recognize on the involuntary conversion.
- Any money you receive that you do not spend on similar property.
- Increase the basis by the following.
- Any gain you recognize on the involuntary conversion.
- Any cost of acquiring the replacement property.
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 replacement property is its cost decreased by the gain not recognized on the conversion. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172194
The state condemned your property. The adjusted basis of the property was $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 unrecognized gain is $3,000, the difference between the $5,000 realized gain and the $2,000 recognized gain. The basis of the replacement property is figured as follows:
|Cost of replacement property||$29,000|
|Minus: Gain not recognized|| 3,000 |
| Basis of replacement property || $26,000 |
If you buy more than one piece of replacement property, allocate your basis among the properties based on their respective costs. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172197
Special rules apply in determining and depreciating the basis of MACRS property acquired in an involuntary conversion. For information, see What Is the Basis of Your Depreciable Property? in chapter 1 of Publication 946.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172198
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 generally the same as the basis of the property you transferred. See Nontaxable Trades
in chapter 14.
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, the property traded and the property received must be both of the following.
- Qualifying property.
- Like-kind property.
The basis of the property you receive is generally the same as the adjusted basis of the property you gave up. If you trade property in a like-kind exchange and also pay money, the basis of the property received is the adjusted basis of the property you gave up increased by the money you paid. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172201
In a like-kind exchange, you must hold for investment or for productive use in your trade or business both the property you give up and the property you receive. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172202
There must be an exchange of like-kind property. Like-kind properties are properties of the same nature or character, even if they differ in grade or quality. The exchange of real estate for real estate and personal property for similar personal property are exchanges of like-kind property. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172203
You trade in an old truck used in your business with an adjusted basis of $1,700 for a new one costing $6,800. The dealer allows you $2,000 on the old truck, and you pay $4,800. This is a like-kind exchange. The basis of the new truck is $6,500 (the adjusted basis of the old one, $1,700, plus the amount you paid, $4,800).
If you sell your old truck to a third party for $2,000 instead of trading it in and then buy a new one from the dealer, you have a taxable gain of $300 on the sale (the $2,000 sale price minus the $1,700 adjusted basis). The basis of the new truck is the price you pay the dealer.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172204
A partially nontaxable exchange is an exchange in which you receive unlike property or money in addition to like-kind property. The basis of the property you receive is the same as the adjusted basis of the property you gave up, with the following adjustments.
- Decrease the basis by the following amounts.
- Any money you receive.
- Any loss you recognize on the exchange.
- Increase the basis by the following amounts.
- Any additional costs you incur.
- 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.
If you receive like-kind and unlike properties in the exchange, 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-kind property. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172206
See Like-Kind Exchanges in chapter 1 of Publication 544 for more information.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172207
Special rules apply in determining and depreciating the basis of MACRS property acquired in a like-kind exchange. For information, see What Is the Basis of Your Depreciable Property? in chapter 1 of Publication 946.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172208
The basis of property transferred to you or transferred in trust for your benefit by your spouse is the same as your spouse's adjusted basis. The same rule applies to a transfer by your former spouse that is incident to divorce. However, for property transferred in trust, adjust your basis for any gain recognized by your spouse or former spouse if 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 U.S. 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 chapter 7
At the time of the transfer, the transferor must give you the records needed to determine the adjusted basis and holding period of the property as of the date of the transfer.
For more information about the transfer of property from a spouse, see chapter 14
To figure the basis of property you receive as a gift, you must know its adjusted basis 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/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172212
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 adjustments 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 adjustments to basis while you held the property. See Adjusted Basis
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 property, no events occurred to increase or decrease your basis. If you later sell the property for $12,000, you will have a $2,000 gain because you must use the donor's adjusted basis at the time of the gift ($10,000) as your basis to figure gain. If you sell the property for $7,000, you will have a $1,000 loss because you must use the FMV at the time of the gift ($8,000) as your basis to figure loss.
If the sales price is between $8,000 and $10,000, you have neither gain nor loss.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172215
If you hold the gift as business property, your basis for figuring any depreciation, depletion, or amortization deductions is the same as the donor's adjusted basis plus or minus any required adjustments to basis while you hold the property. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172216
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, explained later.
Also, for figuring gain or loss from a sale or other disposition or for figuring depreciation, depletion, or amortization deductions on business property, you must increase or decrease your basis (the donor's adjusted basis) by any required adjustments to basis while you held the property. See Adjusted Basis
If you received a gift during the tax year, increase your basis in the gift (the donor's adjusted basis) by the part of the gift tax paid on it 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 minus 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/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172218
In 2009, 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 $37,000 ($50,000 minus the $13,000 annual exclusion). She paid a gift tax of $7,540 on the property. Your basis is $26,107, figured as follows:
|Fair market value||$50,000|
|Minus: Adjusted basis|| −20,000 |
|Net increase in value|| $30,000 |
| || |
|Gift tax paid||$7,540|
|Multiplied by ($30,000 ÷ $37,000)|| × .81 |
|Gift tax due to net increase in value||$6,107|
|Adjusted basis of property to your mother|| +20,000 |
| Your basis in the property || $26,107 |Note.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172221
If you received a gift before 1977, your basis in the gift (the donor's adjusted basis) includes any gift tax paid on it. However, your basis cannot exceed the FMV of the gift at the time it was given to you.
Your basis in property you inherit from a decedent is generally one of the following.
- The FMV of the property at the date of the decedent's death.
- The FMV on the alternate valuation date if the personal representative for the estate elects to use alternate valuation.
- The value under the special-use valuation method for real property used in farming or a closely held business if elected for estate tax purposes.
- 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.
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.
For more information, see the instructions to Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172222
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 includible in the decedent's gross estate, whether or not the estate must file a return. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172223
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 about community property, see Publication 555, Community Property.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172224
If you hold property for personal use and then change it to business use or use it to produce rent, you can begin to depreciate the property at the time of the change. To do so, you must figure its basis for depreciation. An example of changing property held for personal use to business or rental use would be renting out your former personal residence. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172225
The basis for depreciation is the lesser of the following amounts.
- The FMV of the property on the date of the change.
- Your adjusted basis on the date of the change.
Several years ago, you paid $160,000 to have your house 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 the change ($165,000) because it is less than your adjusted basis ($178,000).taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172227
If you later sell or dispose of property changed to business or rental use, the basis you use will depend on whether you are figuring gain or loss.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172228
The basis for figuring a gain is your adjusted basis in the property when you sell the property.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172229
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).taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172230
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 make adjustments (increases and decreases) for the period after the change in the property's use, as discussed earlier under Adjusted Basis
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 (land)) on that date. Reduce that amount ($180,000) by the depreciation deductions ($37,500). The basis for loss is $142,500 ($180,000 − $37,500). taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172233
The basis of stocks or bonds you buy generally is the purchase price plus any costs of purchase, such as commissions and recording or transfer fees. If you get stocks or bonds other than by purchase, your basis is usually determined by the FMV or the previous owner's adjusted basis, as discussed earlier.
You must adjust the basis of stocks for certain events that occur after purchase. For example, if you receive additional stock from nontaxable stock dividends or stock splits, reduce your basis for each share of stock by dividing the adjusted basis of the old stock by the number of shares of old and new stock. This rule applies only when the additional stock received is identical to the stock held. Also reduce your basis when you receive nontaxable distributions. They are a return of capital. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172234
In 2007 you bought 100 shares of XYZ stock for $1,000 or $10 a share. In 2008 you bought 100 shares of XYZ stock for $1,600 or $16 a share. In 2009 XYZ declared a 2-for-1 stock split. You now have 200 shares of stock with a basis of $5 a share and 200 shares with a basis of $8 a share.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172235
There are other ways to figure the basis of stocks or bonds depending on how you acquired them. For detailed information, see Stocks and Bonds under Basis of Investment Property in chapter 4 of Publication 550.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172236
If you can adequately identify the shares of stock or the bonds you sold, their basis is the cost or other basis of the particular shares of stocks or bonds. If you buy and sell securities at various times in varying quantities and you cannot adequately identify the shares you sell, the basis of the securities you sell is the basis of the securities you acquired first. For more information about identifying securities you sell, see Stocks and Bonds under Basis of Investment Property in chapter 4 of Publication 550. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172237
If you sell mutual fund shares you acquired at various times and prices and left on deposit in an account kept by a custodian or agent, you can elect to use an average basis. For more information, see Publication 564. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172238
If you buy a taxable bond at a premium and elect to amortize the premium, reduce the basis of the bond by the amortized premium you deduct each year. See Bond Premium Amortization in chapter 3 of Publication 550 for more information. Although you cannot deduct the premium on a tax-exempt bond, you must amortize the premium each year and reduce your basis in the bond by the amortized amount. taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172239
You must increase your basis in an OID debt instrument by the OID you include in income for that instrument. See Original Issue Discount (OID) in chapter 7 and Publication 1212, Guide To Original Issue Discount (OID) Instruments.taxmap/pub17/p17-078.htm#en_us_publink1000172240
OID on tax-exempt obligations is generally not taxable. However, when you dispose of a tax-exempt obligation issued after September 3, 1982, and acquired after March 1, 1984, you must accrue OID on the obligation to determine its adjusted basis. The accrued OID is added to the basis of the obligation to determine your gain or loss. See chapter 4 of Publication 550.