If the sale agreement is worded such that the proceeds from the sale cannot be assigned (the agreement must state this), the taxpayer could utilize the cost recovery method for reporting the gain. For each year proceeds are received, gain would only be reported in the years whenever the proceeds received begin to exceed the adjusted basis in the stock. Sale proceeds received each year would reduce the adjusted basis amount until the full amount of the adjusted basis is received.
Gain is then reported once the proceeds received exceed the adjusted basis. If the cost recovery method can’t be used, the gain should be reported in the year of the sale and a reasonable estimate of the what the future payments might be should be included.
If the future payments exceed or are less than projected amounts reported for the sale, the gain reported on the original return in the year of the sale should be amended to report the actual payments received. PA does not permit an installment sale of intangibles and does not have a claim of right doctrine that would permit the future payments to be reported as additional gain or loss.