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If you don't specify your shares prior to selling them, the IRS will assume you used the first-in, first-out method. However, you can choose to use the specific-identification method. If you do, you can identify the actual shares you want to sell. This might minimize your capital gain or maximize your loss.
The price of the stock or mutual fund shares you're selling might have fluctuated over the years. If so, using the specific-identification method could decrease the amount of tax you’ll owe. Base your decision on your tax situation.
To use this method: