Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Cost basis


I inherited some stock so the cost to me was $0. I subsequently sold the stock. When I report for tax purposes, do I show $0 as the cost or do I show the cost that the original owner paid?


Thanks for your question.

Neither. For inherited property, your cost basis is the fair market value as of date of death. Specifically for stocks, it is the average of the high and low price on the date of death. If the stock did not trade that day, it is the average of the last day it traded before death and the first day after death. Since it is inherited, it is automatically a long-term gain or loss.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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