Line Items


The IRS issued interim guidance on issues relating to the basis of stock subject to broker reporting (Notice 2011-56). The guidance responds to stakeholder comments received in response to final regulations issued last year (TD 9504). The IRS said it plans to issue further proposed regulations on the subject. Taxpayers may rely on the interim guidance in the notice until superseding guidance is issued.


The interim guidance relates to the average basis method used to determine the basis of stock in a regulated investment company (RIC) or a dividend reinvestment plan (DRP), the DRP 10% reinvestment requirement, and determining basis of stock on an account-by-account basis.


Under the notice, when a taxpayer changes from a broker’s default average basis method for RIC or DRP stock to the cost basis method, the basis of the stock reverts to the cost basis if the taxpayer requests the change by the earlier of (1) one year after receiving notice of the broker’s default method, or (2) the date of the first sale, transfer or other disposition of the stock. A broker may extend the one-year period, but not later than the date of the first sale, transfer or disposition of the stock.


To qualify as a DRP, a plan’s written documents must require that at least 10% of every dividend on any share of stock is reinvested in identical stock (Treas. Reg. § 1.1012-1(e)(6)(i)). The notice specifies that a DRP does not fail the 10% reinvestment requirement if it pays cash in lieu of fractional shares when the amount of a dividend is insufficient for some shareholders to acquire stock.


The basis of securities sold on or after Jan. 1, 2011, is determined on an account-by-account basis, but Treas. Reg. § 1.1012-1(e) provides account-by-account rules only for averaged costs. The notice clarifies that lot selection methods, such as FIFO (first in, first out) and specific identification, also apply on an account-by-account basis.




In response to higher gasoline prices, the IRS in Announcement 2011-40 raised the standard mileage rates effective July 1, 2011, for deductible use of an automobile. The rate increased by 4.5 cents per mile for business use and by half a penny for medical and moving purposes. The rate for services to charitable organizations is set by statute and remained unchanged. Here is a table with the new and former rates:


2011 Standard Mileage Rates

Jan. 1-June 30

July 1 and after

Business use

51 cents/mile

55.5 cents/mile

Medical and moving

19 cents/mile

23.5 cents/mile

Charitable services

14 cents/mile

14 cents/mile

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