I have stocks bought in an employee stock purchase program that changed hands several times during the past 18 years.I have been unable to establish the cost basis for the ones that were purchased between January 1997 and December 1999. Can anyone help?
A public company should have a link for investor relations, which should help provide a trail of basis if this is a matter of company buyout, takeover, etc. This gets you close, but if you don't have an exact date, it will just be close, not exact.
One clean way out of this, assuming the goal is to get rid of the stock and move on, is to donate the shares to charity. You will take the present value as a deduction, and be done. You can use a charitable gift fund such as those offered by Schwab or Fidelity, so if say, the shares are worth $20K, and you typically donate $5K per year, the fund lets you do this transaction at once, then send to the charities you wish over the next few years.