Taxes From A To Z (2013): U Is For Unrealized Gains and Losses

U is for Unrealized Gains and Losses. We’re in the process of selling our house. It is not worth as much this year as it was a few years ago (this, according to Trulia and other valuation sites) although it’s worth more than when we bought it. For tax purposes, we will actually have a gain. I keep hearing, however, how we’ve “lost” money since we didn’t sell at the height of the market. The same discussions are had over and over with respect to the stock market. Stocks go up and down. And while we hope they go up …

All You Need to Know About IPOs, Going Public and Stock Options

Admit it. For weeks now, you’ve been dropping the terms “IPO” and “going public” and “stock options” in water cooler conversation and at cocktail parties and you don’t really know what they mean. Or how they make people rich. Or why it matters to you. And it’s totally Facebook’s fault. As you know, Facebook is “going public” any day now and those “stock options” are going to make folks like Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin ever more rich. As much as the whole world wants to pretend that we really don’t like those guys and we really hate Facebook (remarkable …

IRS Delays Basis Reporting for Decedent’s Estates

The IRS has announced that federal form 8939, Allocation of Increase in Basis for Property Acquired from a Decedent, is not due on April 18, 2011 and should not be filed with the final federal form 1040 of persons who died in 2010. Of course, if you’ve tried to file a federal form 8939, you probably already knew that. It looks like this (downloads as a pdf) which is basically a form with the word “Draft” stamped all over it. The most recent draft is dated 12/16/2010 – just one day before President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance …

What the Heck is Basis, Anyway?

Last week, I committed a terrible tax blogging sin: I used jargon. I try not to use jargon on my blog. I find it annoying, for one, because who wants to actually sound like a tax attorney (no offense to my esteemed colleagues). But more importantly, what’s the point of reading a blog that you can’t understand? So, I’m making amends with a quick explanatory post about basis. Here’s the context: there’s a current proposal in Congress to reinstate the federal estate tax with a higher personal exemption and a “stepped up” basis for assets. The proposal also includes an …