Reporting Your Capital Gains and Losses From Stock Sales
If you sold stock in the past year you should be looking for a 1099-B statement from your brokerage company that summarizes information for the year.
Often you will receive a consolidated statement that includes sections labeled 1099-INT for interest, 1099-DIV for dividends, and 1099-B for stock or bond sales. Many times all of these sections are included even if you only have information in one or two of them.
Consolidated tax statements follow no standard format, and come in a wide variety of styles. Many of the year-end tax statements look similar to the account statements you receive during the year from the same broker, bank, or mutual fund company.
Is all of the Information I Need on My Consolidated Tax Statement?
Not usually. Often you will only receive information about the sale of a stock or other security. You may need to look to other sources for the date acquired, or for your cost or basis of your investments.
Though some brokers, banks and mutual fund companies include your purchase information on consolidated statements, many do not.
You may need to contact them for this information or look at you old account statements for information from when you bought them.
To avoid the hassle of tracking down purchase information, we recommend you keep your own records of all your investment purchases.
Intuit's Quicken product is a great tool for tracking your investments including the cost information needed to complete your taxes.
What Dates Do I Enter?
If you bought the item you later sold, enter:
- For the Date Acquired, use the date you bought the asset. For stocks or bonds, the date you acquired the asset is the trade date. This should be on your purchase confirmation statement from your broker.
- For the Date Sold, use the date shown on your Form 1099-B or 1099-S, or the date you sold the item.
TurboTax will use your dates to decide if the sale should be reported as a short-term or long-term sale.
If you inherited the item, enter the word "Inherited" for the date you acquired the item. When you sell inherited assets, you have a long-term gain or loss.
If you sell a group of similar assets, such as shares in a mutual fund, you can enter the word "Various" for the date you acquired your assets. Then you can tell us how long you owned the assets you sold them. Before you use "Various," be sure to sort your sales by the date you sold them and the length of time you owned them so that your sales dates and holding periods will be correct. You need to separate holding periods for the assets you owned into two groups:
- A year or less, for short-term sales
- More than a year, for long-term sales
If you sold collectibles, put those sales in another group. They could be taxed at a higher rate than other gains.
Important Note: If you enter a word instead of a date in a date field, such as "Various," you must tell us whether to report your sale as a long or short-term sale. If you don't give us this information, we will treat your gain or loss as a long-term gain or loss.
What Do I Enter For Sales Price and Cost, or Basis?
Most of the time, your sales price is the amount on the Form 1099-B (or 1099-S for selling real estate) from your broker.
If you sold an asset and didn't use a broker or a real estate agent, enter the amount shown on your sales contract.
Your cost is usually the amount you paid for your property, but there are some special circumstances where you will report something different. See IRS Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses, for details about how to figure your cost or basis when you sell property that you:
- Received as a gift
- Received for work you did
- Received in exchange for other property
- Received from a stock split or stock distribution
- Purchased when you exercised stock rights or stock options
- Purchased by reinvesting dividends, including mutual fund shares
- Acquired at a premium
- Added improvements to, or depreciated
- Acquired in other ways
What if I Got Incorrect Information?
If you are importing information into TurboTax from your financial institution it is important that it match the tax information reported to you on paper documents.
If you receive incorrect information you should contact your financial institution to get it straightened out prior to filing your tax return.
Where do I enter my stock sales?
To get to the correct starting point in TurboTax Online:
- Select the Tools button in the upper right-hand portion of the screen.
- Select Topic Search.
- When the window opens, type "stock sales" into the box, select the "stock sales" item, and then select Go.
To get to the correct starting point in TurboTax Desktop:
- Enter your cursor into the search box in the upper right-hand portion of the screen.
- Type "stock sales" into the box, select the "stock sales" item.
Follow the on-screen instructions to enter your information.