Agent

How to value an inherited house taken by state

Owner thinks adjusted cost basis on neglected home should mirror 1993 value

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DEAR BOB: My parents died in 1993 and left their home to me in excellent condition. In 2007, the state took the home by condemnation for a new road. Over the 14 years, the condition of the house has declined due to neglect, but property values in the vicinity have generally increased. Can I claim no increase in my basis because of the decline in condition and the need for repairs? --Harold B. DEAR HAROLD: When you inherited the house in 1993, your stepped-up basis was its market value as of that date. Your taxable capital gain will be the difference between that 1993 market value and the amount you receive for the house from the state. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. For example, suppose the house was worth $100,000 in 1993 when you inherited it and the state will now pay you $225,000 for it by condemnation. That means you have a $125,000 capital gain, subject to a maximum 15 percent federal tax plus any applicable state tax. Your adjusted cost basis would not have i...