Originally Posted by USOldWet
When I left my company I took the 80 shares of stock that I had bought through the SSIP program and did not roll them over to an IRA but kept them. This was around 1991. How can I find out what the cost basis is for those shares since I do not have records of purchasing them through the SSIP payroll deduction?
If you bought the stock yourself, your basis is what you paid for the shares, including brokerage commissions .If you have your old trade confirmations, it'll be easy to look up the amount of money you originally invested.But as you don't have that paperwork, then you'll have to take a few more steps to track down the cost. It's worthwhile to find out how much you paid -- otherwise, you'll get stuck paying taxes on the total value when you sell the shares rather than just on the earnings, leaving you with a much bigger tax bill than you actually owe.Ask your broker for some help. Brokers must keep records for six years, and some go back further , I mean contact the broker through whom you bought the stock, who might be able to give you cost basis information. If your broker doesn't keep records that far back, try to remember when you bought the shares. A stock certificate might be dated or old tax returns might show when you began reporting dividend income. Then look up historical price quotes. If you can narrow down the purchase period to a few months, use the average price during that time as your basis and keep records of your methodology. You may also find some helpful information at the investor relations page on the company’s Web site.
OR You can visist the professional website; Establish the Cost Basis of your Old Investments
NOTE: If you still can't track down the basis, you could always give the stock away to charity rather than give cash. That way you'll never need to pay capital-gains taxes so you don't need to worry about finding out the basis, and you can deduct the current value of the stock when you give it as a charitable contribution, if you itemize on Sch A of 1040.