What is the cost basis for stock acquired in a swap?

September 26, 2008

From:  Tim
Date:  Tue, 09 Oct 2007

Hello, I have a tax question if you don't mind. What is the cost basis for stock acquired in a swap? I purchased Company A stock and held it for several years. Company B took over Company A with a share swap. The share price of B stock is much higher than A stock.

Also, when does my holding period start for the Company B shares?

Thanks, Tim

Answer

Date:  02 Nov 2007

Hello Tim,

Assuming this was a tax-free reorganization acquisition, the tax basis of Company A shares is allocated to Company B shares. For example, if you bought 10 shares of Company A stock for $10 per share, and received 1 share of Company B stock in your "swap", the tax basis of the Company B share would be $100.

The holding period for the Company B shares received would start the date you acquired the Company A shares surrendered in the "swap". For example, if you purchased the Company A shares on January 1, 2001 and received Company B shares in exchange for the Company A shares on June 1, 2007, your holding period for the Company B shares would start on January 1, 2001.

Good luck!
Mike Gray

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