Legal Definition and Related Resources of Basis

Meaning of Basis

Fundamental principle; the foundation of any reasoning. Within the tax law, a term of art for the cost of property , which generally includes mortgages assumed. See Internal revenue Code§ 167(9).

Financial Definition of Basis

Regarding a futures contract, the difference between the cash price and the futures price observed in the market. Also, it is the price an investor pays for a security plus any out-of-pocket expenses. It is used to determine capital gains or losses for tax purposes when the stock is sold.

International Trade Meaning and Definition of Basis

The simple difference between two nominal interest rates.

Synonyms of Basis


  • assumption
  • authority
  • background
  • base
  • cause
  • essence
  • foundation
  • fulcrum
  • fundamentals
  • fundus
  • ground
  • groundwork
  • hypothesis
  • justification
  • motive
  • origin
  • premise
  • principle
  • proposition
  • purpose
  • raison detre
  • rationale
  • reason
  • root
  • source
  • support
  • underlying principle
  • warrant
  • Associated Concepts: basis of cost
  • basis of keeping accounts
  • basis of the bargain
  • cash basis
  • contingency basis
  • costplus basis

Related Entries of Basis in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Basis in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Basis in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Basis in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Basis in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Actionable, Adhesion Contract, Capricious, , Cash Asset, Complaint, Conclusion, Contract, Facultative Reinsurance, False Arrest, Grand Jury, Grounds, Immoral Contract, Implied Contract, Innocent Purchaser, Invitee, Judgment In Personam, , Open Contract, Representation, Rolled-up Plea, Sample, Simple Larceny, Strict Liability, Trover.

See also

Tax Basis in the American legal Encyclopedia
Cost Basis in the American legal Encyclopedia

What does Basis mean in American Law?

The definition of Basis in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

In ordinary language, the conceptual twin of the more physical term base.

In income tax law, “basis” is a technical term used in calculating capital gains, and in computing depreciation. While special and complex rules apply when the property has been acquired in certain ways (e.g., upon conversion from personal to business use, or by gift or inheritance), when the relevant property has been acquired by purchase, the basis is ordinarily the same as its actual or constructive cost, modified by certain statutory adjustments (see adjust). This “adjusted basis” is then deducted from the “amount realized,” the remainder being the capital gain. If a depreciation computation, this “adjusted basis” is that to which the allowable depreciation percentage is applied. See I.R.O. §§ 1011-1023 for the details, see also stepped-up basis; substituted basis.


See Also

  • Law Dictionaries.
  • Internal Revenue Code; Profit.
  • United States Tax Concept of Basis

    The amount you paid for an asset plus certain other costs that increase your basis – less depreciation previously taken. You need to know your “basis” to figure gain or loss on a sale.

    Concept of Basis in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Basis: The purchase price of a property, including all expenses related to the purchase.

    Concept of Basis in the context of Real Property

    A short definition of Basis: The purchase price of a property, including all expenses related to the purchase.


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