Property (Basis, Sale of Home, etc.) (2004 IRS FAQ)

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

IRS FAQ 10.1 Capital Gains, Losses/Sale of Home: Property (Basis, Sale of Home, etc.)



What is the basis of property received as a gift?

To figure the basis of property you get as a gift, you must know its adjusted basis to the donor just before it was given to you. You also must know its fair market value (FMV) at the time it was given to you. 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 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 a loss is the FMV of the property when you received the gift, plus or minus any required adjustments to basis while you held the property. See Adjusted Basis in Publication 551, Basis of Assets.

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 get a gain, you have neither a gain or loss on the sale or disposition of the property.

If the FMV 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, you must increase or decrease your basis by any required adjustments to basis while you held the property. See Adjusted Basis in Publication 551, Basis of Assets.

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.

If you received a gift after 1976, increase your 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 to basis by multiplying the gift tax paid by the following 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 any marital or charitable deduction that applies to the gift. For more information on the gift tax, please see Publication 950, Introduction to Estate and Gift taxes.

For additional information on this subject see Gifts.

References:


I have investment property. Can you explain the term basis of assets?

Basis is your investment in property for tax purposes. Before you can figure any gain or loss on a sale, exchange, or other disposition of property, or figure allowable depreciation, you must determine the adjusted basis. Adjusted basis is the result of increasing or decreasing your original basis according to certain events. Your original basis is usually your cost to acquire the asset.

Increases to basis include but are not limited to:

  • Improvements having a useful life of more than a year
  • Assessments for local improvements
  • Sales tax
  • The cost of extending utilities lines to the property
  • Legal fees such as the cost of defending or perfecting title
  • Zoning costs

Decreases to basis include but are not limited to:

  • Depreciation
  • Nontaxable corporate distributions
  • Casualty and theft losses
  • Easements
  • Rebates from the manufacturer or seller

Additional information on basis can be found in Publication 551, Basis of Assets, or Basis of Assets, Basis of Assets.

References:


I sold my principal residence this year. What form do I need to file?

If you meet the ownership and use tests, you will generally only need to report the sale of your home if your gain is more than $250,000 ($500,000 if married filing a joint return). This means that during the 5-year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have:
  • Owned the home for at least 2 years (the ownership test), and
  • Lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 years (the use test).
If you owned and lived in the property as your main home for less than 2 years, you may still be able to claim an exclusion in some cases. The maximum amount you can exclude will be reduced. If you are required or choose to report a gain, it is reported on Form 1040, Schedule D (PDF), Capital Gains and Losses . If you were on qualified extended duty in the U.S. Armed Services or the Foreign Service you may suspend the five-year test period for up to 10 years. You are on qualified extended duty when:
  • At a duty station that is at least 50 miles from the residence sold, or
  • When residing under orders in government housing, for more than 90 days or for an indefinite period.

This change applies to home sales after May 6, 1997. You may use this provision for only one property at a time and one sale every two years.

For additional information on selling your home, refer to Publication 523, Selling Your Home .

References:


If I sell my home and use the money I receive to pay off the mortgage, do I have to pay taxes on that money?

It is not the money you receive for the sale of your home, but the amount of gain on the sale over your cost, or basis, that determines whether you will have to include any proceeds as taxable income on your return. You may be able to exclude any gain from income up to a limit of $250,000 ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases). If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.

For additional information on selling your home, refer to Publication 523, Selling Your Home.

References:


If I take the exclusion of capital gain tax on the sale of my old home this year, can I also take the exclusion again if I sell my new home in the future?

With the exception of the 2-year waiting period, there is no limit on the number of times you can exclude the gain on the sale of your principle residence so long as you meet the ownership and use tests.

References:


I lived in a home as my principal residence for the first 2 of the last 5 years. For the last 3 years, the home was a rental property before selling it. Can I still avoid the capital gains tax and, if so, how should I deal with the depreciation I took while it was rented out?

If, during the 5-year period ending on the date of sale, you owned the home for at least 2 years and lived in it as your main home for at least 2 years, you can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases). However, you cannot exclude the portion of the gain equal to depreciation allowed or allowable for periods after May 6, 1997. This gain is reported on Form 4797. If you can show by adequate records or other evidence that the depreciation allowed was less than the amount allowable, the amount you cannot exclude is the amount allowed. Refer to Publication 523 , Selling Your Main Home and Form 4797 (PDF), Sale of Business Property for specifics on calculating and reporting the amount of the eligible exclusion.

References:


How do you report the sale of a second residence?

Your second home is considered a capital asset. Use Form 1040, Schedule D (PDF) to report sales, exchanges, and other dispositions of capital assets.

References:

Source: IRS.gov

Personal tools