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I'm going to take the liberty of a rare disagreement with Ira on this one. The fact is that you know what you paid for the coins. I see no problem in claiming that amount on moral grounds.

The problem arises only if the IRS becomes interested in checking your return. While you are on fine moral standing, you aren't able to prove it. I do not see this as playing audit lottery. (In my mind, that is taking a stance you know to be wrong just because the odds favor you not getting caught.) If you need to prove your basis, you do have a problem. All you can do is explain the situation to the auditor and ask them to do what they feel is right.

My gut tells me that if this is the only thing on your return that you can't prove, most auditors will let the one item that you can't prove stand as is.

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