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My wife & I are building a new home. Since I am doing much of the work myself, how do I figure tax basis for future sale. Do I just need to track each and every expense (down to the nails), and the IRS will accept that? What about things such as chains for chainsaws, gas driving to and from the site during construction?

If you're planning on living in this home for the foreseeable and you're not in an area where real estate prices are obscene, I wouldn't worry about it too much. With the $500,000 exclusion of gain from sale of a primary residence on a joint return, the basis is often moot.

I suggest you keep a log of your travel and keep receipts for everything you buy. Throw it all in a box marked "basis" and forget about it until you need it, if you ever do.

Phil Marti
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