If I bought shares of stock abc over a period of time for example:

  1. 50 shares @ $100 1 year ago (long term capital gains)
  2. 20 shares @ $120 2 months ago (short term capital gains)

Today the price is $140.

If I sell say 20 or 30 shares, how are the taxes calculated? Do I get an option to specify which shares I can sell based on the purchase date?

This is wrt to US tax laws.


2 Answers 2


You can use LIFO (Last In, First Out) if you designate to your broker to sell specific shares. Here's an excerpt from a Zacks article discussing this:

"Warning: If you plan to use any method besides FIFO, including LIFO, you must specifically direct your broker as to which shares to sell so that your taxes end up the way you want. According to Internal Revenue Service Publication 550, the burden is on you to prove that you informed your broker of which shares you wanted sold and that your broker followed your requests. If you can't prove that, you're treated as having sold your oldest shares first."



The default would generally be FIFO (First In First Out), so the fisrt to buy would be the first to sell.

However, I believe you do have the option with your broker to change this order and specify which ones you want sold first. You should check with your broker to see how you go about doing this if you wish to do so.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .