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How To Report Sale Of Inherited Property On Tax Return

Selling an inherited property can be a significant financial transaction with potential tax implications.Understanding how to report the sale of inherited property on your tax return is crucial to ensure compliance with tax laws and optimize your financial position.We will walk you through the process of reporting the sale of inherited property,including determining the tax basis,calculating the gain or loss,and completing the necessary forms.

Determining the Tax Basis

The tax basis of inherited property is generally established as the fair market value(FMV)on the date of the decedent's death.However,there are exceptions,such as using the alternate valuation date or considering estate tax appraisals.It's essential to determine the correct tax basis,as it forms the foundation for calculating the gain or loss on the sale of the inherited property.

Identifying the Holding Period

For tax purposes,the holding period of inherited property is generally considered long-term,regardless of the actual duration of ownership by the beneficiary.This classification has implications for the applicable tax rates and determines whether the gain or loss is classified as short-term or long-term capital gain/loss.

Calculating the Gain or Loss

To calculate the gain or loss on the sale of inherited property,subtract the tax basis from the selling price.If the selling price exceeds the tax basis,a capital gain is realized.Conversely,if the selling price is lower than the tax basis,a capital loss is incurred.It's important to note that certain expenses related to the sale,such as real estate agent commissions or legal fees,can be deducted from the selling price to arrive at the adjusted basis.

Reporting the Sale on Form 8949 and Schedule D

The sale of inherited property is typically reported on Form 8949,Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets,and Schedule D,Capital Gains and Losses.These forms require accurate reporting of specific details,including the date of acquisition,date of sale,proceeds from the sale,and cost basis.Ensure that you complete the correct sections based on whether the property was held for the short term or long term.

Reporting the Sale on Form 1040

After completing Form 8949 and Schedule D,you will transfer the total capital gain or loss to Form 1040,the individual income tax return form.The gain or loss is reported on Schedule D,which is then incorporated into Form 1040.This ensures that the sale of the inherited property is properly reflected in your overall tax return.

Additional Considerations and Exemptions

It's important to be aware of any exemptions or special considerations that may apply to the sale of inherited property.For example,if you are selling your primary residence,you might qualify for the home sale exclusion,which allows you to exclude a portion of the capital gain from your taxable income.Additionally,certain expenses incurred during the sales process,such as improvements made to the property,may increase the tax basis and reduce the overall capital gain.

Seeking Professional Advice

Given the complexity of reporting the sale of inherited property on your tax return,it is advisable to seek the assistance of a tax professional.They can provide personalized guidance,ensure accurate reporting,and help you identify any potential deductions or exemptions that you may qualify for.


Reporting the sale of inherited property on your tax return requires careful attention to detail and an understanding of the relevant tax laws.By determining the tax basis,calculating the gain or loss,and accurately completing the required forms,you can ensure compliance and optimize your tax position.Remember to seek professional guidance if needed,as they can provide invaluable assistance tailored to your specific circumstances.