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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53674
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Do you need a tax id number for an estate to sell stocks and

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Do you need a tax id number for an estate to sell stocks and mutual funds? The only assets in the estate are the stocks and mutual funds. The person died over 10 years ago and the assets have just been sitting there. I am trying to figure out how to sell the assets and distribute the money causing the least amount of tax burden on the beneficiaries.


Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. Yes, the estate will need a Tax ID number. This is a simple process and you can obtain this within about 10 minutes online at the following IRS website: . There is no cost involved.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What type of tax burden will this cause for the beneficiaries? Does the estate pay on the capital gain or is this considered income?

Thanks for your reply. The sale will generate long term capital gain. Gain is measured by the sale price (less closing costs) in excess of the basis of the assets. The basis would be equal to the fair market value as of the date of death of the decedent.
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For 2013, the tax laws concerning taxation of long term capital gains are as follows:

0% applies to long-term gains and dividend income if a person is in the 10% and 15% tax brackets,
15% applies to long-term gains and dividend income if a person is in the 25%, 28%, 33%, or 35% tax brackets, and
20% applies to long-term gains and dividend income if a person is in the 39.6% tax bracket.

In addition, starting in 2013, capital gain income will be subject to an additional 3.8% Medicare tax for taxpayers with income at or above a certain threshold. This 3.8% Medicare surtax applies to taxpayers with “net investment income” in excess of threshold income amounts of $200,000 for single filers and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly.
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