Stepped-up Basis - General Rule

General Rule

Under IRC § 1014(a) the general rule applied to property a beneficiary receives from a benefector is that the beneficiary's basis equals the fair market value of the property at the time the decedent dies. For example, Decedent owns a home they originally purchased for $35,000. Their basis in the home is equal to its cost, $35,000, assuming no adjustments under IRC § 1016. On the day Decedent dies, the fair market value of the home is $200,000. If Decedent bequeaths the home to Beneficiary, Beneficiary's basis in the home will be the fair market value, $200,000. In contrast, had Decedent given the home to Beneficiary before their death, Beneficiary would receive a carryover basis, which would be equal to the decedent's adjusted basis in the home, $35,000.

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