The IRS Wants Consistency in Basis Reporting

From the article New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Beneficiaries:

Recent federal legislation adds fresh compliance burdens to an old concept in federal tax law: the step-up in tax basis of appreciated property at death.  New reporting requirements will apply to estates required to file a federal estate tax return after July 31, 2015 and are effective beginning June 30, 2016. Executors and beneficiaries who do not comply with the new rules may be subject to penalties.

When a person sells an asset that has appreciated in value, the gain recognized generally equals the sale price minus the seller’s “tax basis” in the property, usually the amount paid to acquire the asset. When a person dies owning appreciated property, the property generally acquires a new tax basis equal to its fair market value as of the date of death. This “step-up” in basis has the effect of wiping out the income tax burden on all pre-death appreciation in the property. (Property can also depreciate in value and receive a “step-down” in basis at the decedent’s death.)

More at the link.

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