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<<As part of a divorce settlement, I acquired several stocks. I want to sell them if the tax consequences are not too drastic. If I sell them, what would be considered the holding period? Would it be when my ex-husband purchased them or when I actually obtained them in my name as part of the settlement? Currently I am only in the 15% tax bracket....should I sell them now or hold on to them?>>

Your holding period includes the time your ex-husband held the shares. And your basis is the same as his basis. So to figure your gain, you need to know what he paid for the stock (including commissions).

Whether you should sell or hold depends on far too many things for anyone here to say yea or nay. To get a better idea how the tax consequences of a sale will work I suggest you browse through the Guide for Beginning Investors at the site mentioned below, especially the page called "Your Tax Bracket" and the pages about capital gains.

Kaye Thomas, author
Fairmark Press Tax Guide for Investors
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