New Tax Basis Reporting Requirement for Estates

The IRS has just published a new form designed to complicate life for executors. It requires that the executor report the tax basis for inherited assets to the inheritors … and to the IRS. For example, suppose John bought his house for $40,000 thirty years ago. He just died when his house was worth $300,000. The good news is that is children owe no capital gains tax if they turn around and sell it for the $300,000. But that value is now reported to the children and the IRS on the new Form 8971. If the house is later sold for more than the $300,000 then capital gains tax will be owed by the children on the addition profit above the $300,000.