Publication 544 - Introductory Material

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Publication 544, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to

What's New

Direct reporting on Schedule D.  For 2013, certain transactions may be combined and the totals reported directly on Schedule D. If you choose to do that, you do not need to include these transactions on Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets. For additional information, see Schedule D and Form 8949 in chapter 4.

Tax rate on net capital gain and qualified dividends.  The maximum tax rate of 15% on net capital gain and qualified dividends has increased to 20% for some taxpayers. See Capital Gains Tax Rates in chapter 4.

Important Reminders

Dispositions of U.S. real property interests by foreign persons. If you are a foreign person or firm and you sell or otherwise dispose of a U.S. real property interest, the buyer (or other transferee) may have to withhold income tax on the amount you receive for the property (including cash, the fair market value of other property, and any assumed liability). Corporations, partnerships, trusts, and estates also may have to withhold on certain U.S. real property interests they distribute to you. You must report these dispositions and distributions and any income tax withheld on your U.S. income tax return.For more information on dispositions of U.S. real property interests, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens. Also see Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities.

Foreign source income. If you are a U.S. citizen with income from dispositions of property outside the United States (foreign income), you must report all such income on your tax return unless it is exempt from U.S. law. This is true whether you reside inside or outside the United States and whether or not you receive a Form 1099 from the foreign payor.

Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


You dispose of property when any of the following occurs.

  • You sell property.

  • You exchange property for other property.

  • Your property is condemned or disposed of under threat of condemnation.

  • Your property is repossessed.

  • You abandon property.

  • You give property away.

This publication explains the tax rules that apply when you dispose of property. It discusses the following topics.

  • How to figure a gain or loss.

  • Whether your gain or loss is ordinary or capital.

  • How to treat your gain or loss when you dispose of business property.

  • How to report a gain or loss.

This publication also explains whether your gain is taxable or your loss is deductible.

This publication does not discuss certain transactions covered in other IRS publications. These include the following.

  • Most transactions involving stocks, bonds, options, forward and futures contracts, and similar investments. See chapter 4 of Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses.

  • Sale of your main home. See Publication 523, Selling Your Home.

  • Installment sales. See Publication 537, Installment Sales.

  • Transfers of property at death. See Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

Forms to file.   When you dispose of property, you usually will have to file one or more of the following forms.
  • Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.

  • Form 4797, Sales of Business Property.

  • Form 8824, Like-Kind Exchanges.

  • Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets.

   Although the discussions in this publication may at times refer mainly to individuals, many of the rules discussed also apply to taxpayers other than individuals. However, the rules for property held for personal use usually will not apply to taxpayers other than individuals.

Comments and suggestions.   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.

  You can send your comments to the following address.

Internal Revenue Service 
Tax Forms and Publications Division 
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526 
Washington, DC 20224

  We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.

You can also send us comments from Click on “More Information ” and then on “Give us feedback.

Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.

Ordering forms and publications.   Visit to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received.

Internal Revenue Service 
1201 N. Mitsubishi Motorway 
Bloomington, IL 61705-6613

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.

More Online Publications