• In order to figure your gain or loss using an average basis, you must have acquired the shares at various times and prices and have left them on deposit in a managed account. There are two average basis methods: * Single-category method, and * Double-category method. Single-category method. First, add up the cost of all the shares you own in the mutual fund. Divide that result by the total number of shares you own. This gives you your average per share. Multiply that number by the number of shares sold. You may have both short and long term gains or losses. Use the FIFO method to determine your holding period. Double-category method. First, divide your shares into two categories, long-term and short-term. Then use the steps above to get an average basis for each category. The average basis for that category is then the basis of each share in the sale from that category. Once you elect to use an average basis method, you must continue to use it for all accounts in the same fund. You must clearly identify on your tax return the average basis method that you have elected to use. You do this identification by including "AVGB" in column (a) of Form 1040, Schedule D (PDF).

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