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I acquired a real property incident to divorce, records of adjusted basis from my ex unavailable, how can I determine my basis if I sell the property

 
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I acquired a real property incident to divorce, records of adjusted basis from my ex unavailable, how can I determine my basis if I sell the property

Short answer, make the best guess you can and hope you aren't audited.  The IRS will not give you credit for any basis you can't prove.

Longer answer, some records are always available.  Purchases and sales are usually recorded at the county clerk's office, for example.  If you originally bought the home with your spouse, you can get your sales price there.  Or, if you or your spouse inherited the home, you would need a qualified appraisal as of the date of the inheritance--that may be something you can get now (for a fee) since appraisers have access to historic records and can give a retroactive value.  Or, if the home was bought by a parent or other family member, maybe jointly with a spouse, then the spouse died and the home was gifted to you, that changes it's basis, and most of that can be reconstructed from county records.  If you had recent improvements done, the contractor may be able to send a duplicate invoice.  Or there will be records of improvements at the county if they needed building permits.  Make as thorough a search as you can.

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I acquired a real property incident to divorce, records of adjusted basis from my ex unavailable, how can I determine my basis if I sell the property

Short answer, make the best guess you can and hope you aren't audited.  The IRS will not give you credit for any basis you can't prove.

Longer answer, some records are always available.  Purchases and sales are usually recorded at the county clerk's office, for example.  If you originally bought the home with your spouse, you can get your sales price there.  Or, if you or your spouse inherited the home, you would need a qualified appraisal as of the date of the inheritance--that may be something you can get now (for a fee) since appraisers have access to historic records and can give a retroactive value.  Or, if the home was bought by a parent or other family member, maybe jointly with a spouse, then the spouse died and the home was gifted to you, that changes it's basis, and most of that can be reconstructed from county records.  If you had recent improvements done, the contractor may be able to send a duplicate invoice.  Or there will be records of improvements at the county if they needed building permits.  Make as thorough a search as you can.

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