A tax basis is generally the amount of your investment in a property for tax purposes. The tax basis gets used to figure depreciation, amortization, depletion, casualty losses, and any gain or loss on the sale, exchange or other disposition of the property. To know the basis for property you need to know how the property was acquired. Property acquired by gift keeps the donor’s basis. Property acquired through inheritance generally gets a stepped up basis, meaning the fair market value of the property at the date of decedent’s death. Thus, the income tax basis of assets that are includable in decedent’s gross estate, other than items that constitute income in respect of a decedent (IRD), are increased or decreased to the date of death value or some other alternate valuation date not to exceed six months after the date of death.