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Cost basis for a stock purchased in 1978

I am helping my father with is taxes.  He sold stock in 2023 for SO, which he purchased in 1978.  I have the date of the purchase (based on a physical stock certificate!), but I don't know how to determine the cost basis for Schedule D.  I've reached out to investor relations, and have looked online, but none of the records seem to go back that far.  What's the best way to proceed?

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3 Replies
DianeW777
Expert Alumni

Cost basis for a stock purchased in 1978

It depends.  You can find a reasonable cost basis for the year of purchase, however the real question is whether he received dividends or whether they were reinvested.  If the dividends were reinvested, which means more stock was continued to be purchased with the dividends, you would need to research the total amount reinvested.

 

If dividends were not reinvested, you can rely on the value from any number of internet sites that would provide historical stock prices.

Look at the trend of this particular stock over time to see if it always went up.  Do the best you can to arrive at what you believe is a close cost for your father, keep all of your records with the tax return. You can use that as the cost basis to reduce gain on the sale.  You always have the option of using zero as the cost basis, but you can use your best efforts as indicated to arrive at a reasonable amount.

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Cost basis for a stock purchased in 1978

if you have a certificate, there are no reinvested dividends.

Some libraries have wall st journal on microfilm or other media and you can look up the price at that time.

Consult your librarian.

OR

take an educated guess based on google search or your father's recollection.

 

you have to adjust quoted prices for splits.

SInce you didn't mention it,  that would imply there were no splits.

@flyerii 

Cost basis for a stock purchased in 1978

investor relations may also be able to provide you with historical info. 

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