The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Capital Gains & Losses

Mutual Funds - Different Methods Of Identifying

If you sell mutual fund shares that were acquired at different times, you must know the corresponding basis to determine your gain or loss. One method is the specific identification method where you specifically identify the shares sold. Another choice is the Average cost method which takes an average of all shares in the fund. Another method is the First in First out FIFO method in which the shares sold are from the earliest to the latest owned. If you have documentation of the history of the share ownership, you have an option to any of the methods to calculate either a lower or higher gain or loss on your sale. Speak to your local CPA about these tax savings strategies.

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