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Help with Vanguard Brokerage 1099-B
Old 02-28-2009, 05:21 PM   #1
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Help with Vanguard Brokerage 1099-B

I've been at this all day, and I'm ready to cry. Seriously.

Everything went just great with Vanguard's 1099-B; they even had a nifty little illustrated pamphlet that showed you exactly where to plug the numbers in on your tax forms.

But now it's time to deal with the 1099-B for my Vanguard Brokerage funds, and things are not going so well. The 1099-B provides the "trade date," which appears to be the date on which the asset was sold, and the amount of "proceeds," which appears to be the amount realized at the time of sale, less commissions. But there is no information--anywhere--about the date(s) of purchase or the cost. Unfortunately, these are funds that I have traded in and out of many times, so I wouldn't even know where to begin to figure this out myself.

I have gone to Vanguard's website, and it provides the cost information for its own funds, but nothing for brokerage funds.

Is anyone else dealing with this same issue? I would be more than grateful for any guidance you could provide.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:59 PM   #2
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1099s never provide cost basis information. Unfortunately, you are responsible (I think) for keeping up with your own data. Did you buy some other fund through Vanguard? You could try calling Vanguard, but my best guess is to pull out all your statements and get started trying to reconstruct.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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I don’t have a Vanguard account, but I do have a mutual fund account that is so old that the fund company doesn’t have the costs in its computer, so I have to figure it myself. I use an average, and the IRS has never commented on my numbers.

My other fund companies do not give out cost information in my tax-deferred accounts: IRAs and Keogh accounts.

You can say the dates of purchase are “various.”
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Old 02-28-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. This is the first year that I ventured beyond Vanguard's own funds, and I wasn't aware of how unusual it is that Vanguard provides a "cost summary" for its funds that can be plugged right into the Schedule D.

In the last few hours, I've come across something called "Gainskeeper," which appears to perhaps be what I need. Has anyone used it?
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:33 PM   #5
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I just went through this. I put in the date purchased as "various" and Taxact asks you if the gain is short or long term. Vanguard has this all broken out for you on the average cost summary form. This was for Vanguard funds.

All you really need to know is if the gain is short or long (over a year) and your cost basis. If you don't know the cost basis and no one else does, then your estimate must be right.
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Old 02-28-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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emilylynn, If you logon to your Vanguard brokerage account, there's a tab called transaction history. Click it - it will allow you to see all the transactions for the past 10 years. You can sort by name - easy to identify the purchases, sales and distributions. Print, keep as backup for your tax form.

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emilylynn View Post
Thanks, guys. This is the first year that I ventured beyond Vanguard's own funds, and I wasn't aware of how unusual it is that Vanguard provides a "cost summary" for its funds that can be plugged right into the Schedule D.

In the last few hours, I've come across something called "Gainskeeper," which appears to perhaps be what I need. Has anyone used it?
You are supposed to keep records and figure out what your basis is. If you don't know how, then GainsKeeper can help you. You still need the trading records, which you can obtain from Vanguard Brokerage Service.
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Old 03-01-2009, 03:33 AM   #8
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wow, fidelity maintains cost basis on everything, not only that it downloads automatically into turbo tax,,, what a piece of cake
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:15 PM   #9
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Yeah, I do that through Fidelity too.

emilylynn, unless you have been entering specific share data when you sold the fund shares in your brokerage account, or always sold all the shares of a fund, Vanguard may not be able to calculate your basis for you. If you have, you should be able to find that data or download it. If not, you are probably stuck with first-in-first-out basis accounting and looking back at old brokerage statements to get the purchase info.
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:42 PM   #10
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wow, fidelity maintains cost basis on everything, not only that it downloads automatically into turbo tax,,, what a piece of cake
Same with Schwab.
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