It’s time to run down the changes we will see this tax filing season and what to expect in 2014 and beyond.
In 2001, the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimated that 38% of taxpayers reporting a security sale incorrectly reported their taxable gain or loss due to an incorrect cost basis, creating an $11 billion tax gap.
Congress included a provision in the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 requiring brokers to report the cost basis of certain securities to the IRS and taxpayers when a sale occurred. The reporting requirements were rolled out in phases:
January 1, 2011: Equities
January 1, 2012: Mutual Funds and Dividend Reinvestment Plans
January 1, 2014: Fixed-Rate Debt Instruments and Options
January 1, 2016: Variable-Rate Debt Instruments and Other Complex Securities
Now, 12-plus years later, we are nearing the final stages of the heightened reporting requirements.
Since 2011, sales and dispositions of property are reported on Schedule D and detailed on Form 8949. Six classification buckets are required for sale and disposition transaction details.
Understanding the difference between covered securities and non-covered securities is vital for cost basis reporting. A few highlights:
Non-covered, or uncovered, securities are security purchases made prior to the effective dates listed (e.g., January 1, 2011, for equities). If a non-covered transaction is reported on 1099-B, the sale is classified as short-term or long-term on Form 8949, Box B. All other non-covered transactions are classified as short-term or long-term on Form 8949, Box C.
Review tax implications with your tax advisor prior to executing transactions involving security sales.
Review your lot selection method (e.g., first-in, first-out for equities or average-cost for mutual funds) to assure a best fit for you.
Review the new elections for debt securities with your tax advisor. Notify your broker/custodian whether you plan to make or revoke such elections.
GainsKeeper® helps track your trading capital gains and losses throughout the year by automatically adjusting your cost basis and gains/losses for all trades, wash sales, and corporate actions (such as splits).
Recently, you may have noticed changes in the way TD Ameritrade calculates, tracks, and adjusts cost basis for fixed-income securities. Enhancements to GainsKeeper® are available now to help you comply with federal regulations, and report cost basis for options and fixed-income securities acquired on or after January 1, 2014.*
GainsKeeper® will display the fixed-income adjustments to cost basis that brokers are required to make. These include:
• Original Issue Discount (OID)• Bond premium• Market discount• Acquisition premium
*Please note that not every fixed-income security acquired starting January 1, 2014, will be required to report cost basis. Some fixed-income securities will not be covered by these regulations until January 2016, while others will be excluded altogether. For more information, please call a TD Ameritrade Fixed-Income Specialist at 800-934-4445.Watch for additional tools and resources in the Tax Center. Log in to tdameritrade.com > My Account > Tax Center.
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