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Figuring basis on inherited stock

Q: We inherited stock that was purchased for more than $70 a share. The original company was absorbed by a larger company and the stock split a few times. We sold a portion for $40 a share. Can we claim a loss using the original share price vs. the sale price? — D.M., Mount Dora

A: If the stock was inherited, your basis is the value on the date of death regardless of how many times it split. If the stock was gifted to you before death, your basis is the original purchase price. — Dianne Webb

Q: If Social Security agrees to pay a disability income to someone under age 65, it is called Social Security Income. Is there a certain income I am allowed to make and continue to receive SSI? Can Medicare be taken away because of the disability benefit from SSI? Do they base annual income on gross income or income after the expenses? — S.L., Bonita Springs

A: I think your confusion arises from the use of the initials SSI, which stand for Supplemental Security Income. Disability payments under Social Security are based on your earnings history, the same as the regular Social Security benefits. The amount of earnings from self employment is what you report on your income tax returns, which would be net income after expenses are deducted. For answers based on your personal facts, call the Orlando Social Security office at 866-964-6146 or 800-772-1213. — Richard Almeida

Have a question? E-mail askanexpert@orlandosentinel.com. Include your name (only your initials will be printed), hometown and phone. Questions are answered by certified financial planners from the Central Florida chapter of the Financial Planning Association. Answers are for educational purposes only; you should also consult a financial professional. Questions and answers may be edited for space considerations.

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