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PostHeaderIcon Gifts of Appreciated Stock

This question came up recently.  I had a financial adviser ask me if a client could gift some appreciated stock to their child and receive a step up in basis.  Unfortunately, you only get a step up in basis when it’s an estate situation.  When you gift appreciated stock, both the holding period and the basis carry over. So if your parents bought stock back in 1980 for $1,000 and now it’s worth $100,000 your basis would be $1,000 but you’d get the 1980 holding period so it would be long term capital gain if you sold it.  For gift tax purposes, the value of the gift would still be the fair market value, which in this case, would be $100,000.

Note that this is different than if you gift your shares to a charity.  In that situation, there is no gain triggered but your charitable deduction is the full fair market value of the shares.

 

PostHeaderIcon Monday Tax Bits – 12/5/2011

Here’s some of the stuff that’s floating around the blogosphere.

The Wall Street Journal ran a few good pieces on charitable deductions.  There’s one on the rules and then another on what to donate.  They also did a piece on how to give alternative assets to charities.  All three are worth reading especially if you plan on making a last minute gift to your favorite charity this year.

Both sides of the aisle are still trying to hash out a plan to extend the payroll tax cuts.  It’s short on details but it looks like the democrats have come up with a potential compromise but at the same time, there’s some questioning as to how this could effect social security in general.  Finally, there’s a good piece over at Taxgirl.com that talks about how the republicans are trying to link up the payroll tax cut to the approval of a gas pipeline.

The new Form 1099-K rules kick in beginning in 2012 and the IRS has put out a FAQ on the subject.  If you use paypal or accept credit card payments, this is worth a read.

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PostHeaderIcon Animal Rescue 1, IRS 0

Sometime, common sense prevails.  In this interesting WSJ article, Jan Van Dussen took on the IRS and while it wasn’t a total victory, the merits of her case prevailed.  She incurred thousands of dollars in personal expenses to take and care for stray cats at her home and when she tried to deduct them, the IRS eventually came and said they were personal in nature.  Tax Court disagreed and said that most of the expenses were deductible as “unreimbursed expenses incurred to help a charitable group in its mission.”

The primary reason she didn’t get all of her deductions was because she didn’t get a letter from the charity acknowledging the fact she provided more the $250 to the charity.