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Publication 537 - Introductory Material

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Publication 537, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to


Photographs of missing children. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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.


Note. Section references within this publication are to the Internal Revenue Code and regulation references are to the Income Tax Regulations under the Code.

Installment sale.    An installment sale is a sale of property where you receive at least one payment after the tax year of the sale. If you realize a gain on an installment sale, you may be able to report part of your gain when you receive each payment. This method of reporting gain is called the installment method. You cannot use the installment method to report a loss. You can choose to report all of your gain in the year of sale.

This publication discusses the general rules that apply to using the installment method. It also discusses more complex rules that apply only when certain conditions exist or certain types of property are sold.

If you sell your home or other nonbusiness property under an installment plan, you may need to read only the General Rules . If you sell business or rental property or have a like-kind exchange or other complex situation, also see the appropriate discussion under Other Rules .

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

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  Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, 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. Otherwise, you can go to to order current and prior-year forms and instructions. Your order should arrive within 10 business days.

Tax questions.   If you have a tax question not answered by this publication, check and How To Get Tax Help at the end of this publication.

Useful Items - You may want to see:


  • 523 Selling Your Home

  • 535 Business Expenses

  • 541 Partnerships

  • 544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets

  • 550 Investment Income and Expenses

  • 551 Basis of Assets

  • 4895 Tax Treatment of Property Acquired From a Decedent Dying in 2010

Form (and Instructions)

  • Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions

  • Schedule B (Form 1040A or 1040) Interest and Ordinary Dividends

  • Schedule D (Form 1040) Capital Gains and Losses

  • Schedule D (Form 1041) Capital Gains and Losses

  • Schedule D (Form 1065) Capital Gains and Losses

  • Schedule D (Form 1120) Capital Gains and Losses

  • Schedule D (Form 1120S) Capital Gains and Losses and Built-in Gains

  • 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

  • 1040NR U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return

  • 1120 U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return

  • 1120-F U.S. Income Tax Return of a Foreign Corporation

  • 4797 Sales of Business Property

  • 6252 Installment Sale Income

  • 8594 Asset Acquisition Statement Under Section 1060

  • 8949 Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets

See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms.

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