Unfortunately any time that you sell stocks and bonds, you are liable for paying capital gains tax on any gain you have from the sale of those assets. Over the years that you owned those stocks, it is true that you paid taxes on the dividends that you received as the dividends were paid. But the dividends are totally separate income from the gain you have when these stocks and bonds are sold.
However, what I am not clear on is how much tax you actually owe here. Your gain from the sale of these stocks and bonds is all that would be taxable. If you received a total of $61,005 when you cashed in these assets, then you would have to deduct from that amount your basis in these stocks.
Since you inherited these stocks 4 years ago from your late husband, your basis in these stocks and bonds would be whatever the fair market value was at the time he passed away. So let me just give you a simplified example here.
Let's say that you just sold 100 shares of ABC Company for $1,000. And let's say that you inherited those shares from your husband 4 years ago, and at the time he passed away the shares had a market value of $700. The $700 would be your basis in the stock and you would deduct that from the $1,000 you received when the shares were sold. That would give you a gain of $300 and you would pay capital gains tax on the $300 only.
It is possible you do not report the sale properly to the IRS to show your basis in these stocks and the IRS may be charging you tax on the entire amount you received of $61,005 which is not correct. You should have reported the sale of these stocks and bonds on Schedule D of your tax return and on that schedule you would show the sales price of the stock, less your basis, and then your taxable gain or loss.
If you did not report the sales in this manner, you need to file an amended return and follow those procedures, as this will bring your tax bill down tremendously.
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Thank you rush