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How to Calculate Simple Loss or Gain and Stock Basis

Calculate Simple Loss or Gain and Stock Basis

Hi! This article will give you the basics for determining your stock basis and loss or gain. I call this the 'simple' method since this article presumes a one time buy and one time sale of stock. We'll not cover stocks traded over a period of time, dollar cost averaging for example, in this article. As always, consult your tax accountant for updated tax rules and before making financial decisions. Please read on to learn How To Calculate Simple Loss or Gain Stock Basis



    • 1
      Find a copy of your stock trade buy confirmation from when you bought your stock. If you have multiple confirmations from the same stock, this article won't work for you :-)
    • 2
      Look on this 'buy' confirmation and find the principal amount and commission cost.
    • 3
      Then subtract the commission cost from the principal amount. Write this answer down. This is your cost basis.
    • 4
      Then find your stock trade confirmation from when you sold your stock.
    • 5
      On this 'sell' confirmation, take the principal amount and ADD the commission cost. Write this answer down.
    • 6
      Take the answer you have from the 'buy' trade confirmation and SUBTRACT it from the 'sell' trade confirmation.
    • 7
      If the amount is positive, this result is your gain. If the amount is negative, this result is your loss
    • 8
      That's it! Remember, for multiple buy transactions on the same stock the above calculation is computed differently. For a single buy, this should help. Thanks for reading my How To

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