Need attorney in community property state (Texas) for question about cost basis .
Cost basis is more complicated than my probate
attorney explained to me. Husband died. Sold rental property a year and a half later.
So, now I'm fooling around with my income taxes for 2015 (yes, I filed an extension), and, suddenly, I'm feeling the blood drain out of my body .
My probate attorney told me very plainly that the cost basis would be a new figure based on the date I chose after my husband's death. So, I sold two pieces of property , with the understanding that I wouldn't have to pay taxes on them based on what he said to me.
Now, as I work through this, I have discovered that cost basis can be very complicated and , in fact, confusing. The language used to address it is gobbledygook. As I read through it, I am finding odd math and logic and a bizarre "step up" where there is, indeed, a "step up" of some type , but then half of that is added to something else instead of straight new cost basis figure.
Please tell me that the gobbledygook I am reading is not telling me that I have to adjust the figure my attorney told me down by half or a quarter and a half or something crazy! like that .
I really do need to be able to sleep tonight. Can someone please just use the simple figure of one dollar to explain cost basis to me? Again, I am a resident of Texas.
(And, in case anybody ever reads this with any authority or empathy for widows and widowers, I would like to say that , since funeral homes are the first required stop for widows and widowers, a COMPLETE B-O-O-K of what to be aware of should be a required function of the funeral home AND it should be the job of the PROPERTY TAX OFFICE where you pay your property taxes (or the job of the county clerk where your purchase or deed is recorded) to give you a BOOK of all the important things you need to know FROM THE BEGINNING of your purchase to "prove" your stupid "cost basis" if you ever need to . You shouldn't wait until you get ready to pay your income taxes to find out that Publication Crazy A, B, and C tells you that "you should keep your records to prove 'cost basis' " longer than the seven years you were told by someone on TV. It is a travesty to learn these things after the fact.)