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need to know
All 10 S&P 500 sectors decline in August
Apple will let iPhone and iPad users block ads
J.C. Penney upgraded by Deutsche Bank
Wal-Mart cuts worker hours at some stores
5 silly new words in the Oxford dictionary

Personal beliefs don’t belong in retirement accounts

Unlucky lottery winner gets IOU from Illinois

Ode to that legendary New York steakhouse the Palm

When you absolutely, positively need a cocktail

Teacher with 111 tardies puts blame on breakfast

Automat concept is back — with a lot more quinoa

If Donald Trump can do it, why not Kanye West?

Scott Walker's backers seek a reboot of his campaign
Scott Walker’s backers seek reboot of campaign
Scott Walker wants a wall — with Canada

Dissatisfied voters are fueling Sanders and Trump
Clinton says she supports ‘revolving door’ bill
Biden a tougher matchup than Clinton: poll

Ruling in ‘Deflategate’ expected by end of this week
Greedy owners are NFL preseason winners

Disney to unveil ‘Star Wars’ toys in unboxing event
Walt Disney leads Dow's losers for August

How teen clothing retailers compete today

Sunday is Warren Buffett's 85th birthday
Happy 85th birthday to the $67 billion man


Why BlackBerry is a more attractive buyout target than Twitter
BlackBerry is a better buyout target than Twitter
Twitter's stock jumps after analyst upgrade

Our kids aren’t doomed to be poorer than we are

Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Both worry, be happy stocks aren’t a sure bet

Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thank you’s
Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thanks

‘War Room’ is a ‘resounding success’ at box office

By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst
By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst

Cheeseburgers and happiness always on the menu for Warren Buffett — and Jimmy Buffett, too
Farrell: Recipes for happiness, from Buffett and others

/conga/frontpage.html 353759

Markets »

141.44MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 109.98M
Unchanged
217
Decliners
3378
Advancers
3004
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,528 -115 0.69%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,777 -52 1.07%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.84%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,354 0 0.01%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +8 0.74%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47.47 -1.73 3.52%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,259 -39 0.38%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,653 -22 0.47%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,942 -52 0.24%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,259 -94 0.91%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 363 0 0.13%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,762 -22 0.80%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,661 -229 1.21%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,693 +22 0.10%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,206 -26 0.82%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,923 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.00 0.37%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 120.93 -0.30 0.25%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 +0.00 0.23%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.00%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.67 -0.25 0.26%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.25 -0.18 0.21%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.20 -0.02 0.68%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 +0.01 3.44%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47 -2 3.52%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +8 0.74%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 373 -3 0.73%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,285 -223 1.35%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,940 -29 1.50%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 +0 0.61%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.43 -1.58 -1.74%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 618.25 -12.13 -1.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.48 0.20 0.38%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.87 0.13 0.95%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.20 -0.09 -0.27%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.54 0.28 0.84%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.82 -0.34 -1.35%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Trending Tickers
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The Tax Blog
The latest news, insights and tips about taxes

Why Your Accountant Might Not Have Your Records

In a recent post about the new estate tax rules, one reader commented: “Well if this accountant was this ladies tax preparer early in her career she should darn well know where every bit of paper is regarding each share.”  After all, this reader said, his accountant has records going back “to the beginning of time” regarding his asset purchases.

I smiled when I read that, visualizing my 20-something self, having been 80+ year Mildred’s accountant since she was a young housewife. In fact, I never met Mildred. It was Ruth, her younger sister (who was 70-ish), who took over as Mildred’s guardian and hired me to catch up on several years of unfiled tax returns. However, it was early in my career, I became aware of the basis nightmare that many people face.

Let me give you 10 reasons why your accountant might not have your records:

1. It’s not unusual for a tax professional to start working with an elderly person for the first time after the person has been incapacitated. By that time, the client might be unable to participate in the tax preparation and planning process.

2. One spouse handled all the finances. The other spouse knew nothing about the details – and never found the records.

3. The family has moved many times. Records were misplaced or lost over the years.

4. There were floods, earthquakes or other plagues that destroyed the records.

5. All the records were in the hands of accountants, attorneys or other financial managers. The firm may have closed, or the principals may have died, but the records were not distributed to clients.

6. The brokerage merged, merged again, and merged yet again. Basis records were not transferred along with the list of shares owned at the time of each merger.

7. There was a divorce and the ex–spouse refused to turn over basis records. The client was too intimidated to insist – or didn’t know s/he needed the records.

8. The stocks split many times and some of the shares were sold over the years. No one bothered to keep the records when they prepared their own tax returns.

9. The assets were received as gifts. The basis information was never provided.  The recipient didn’t realize s/he needed the information until years later.

10. Excellent records were kept of the purchases and sales of the stocks. But no one bothered to track the value of the reinvested dividends, which had been taxed. Those should be added to basis, too, but this is often overlooked.

Incidentally, an interesting thing happened when Ruth and I started filing tax returns for Mildred. The IRS had just started the 1099 program in the early 1980s, which meant we started receiving 1099-INTs and 1099—DIVs from banks and brokerages. We found about $150,000 worth of accounts that Ruth didn’t know Mildred owned. That was a happy surprise.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (5 of 9)

View all Comments »
    • It’s the clients responsibility to obtain & maintain those records. The accountant may have had the 1099′s, but likely never received brokerage account detail (it’s sometimes like pulling teeth to get that info.), or didn’t retain it if it had no impact on the current year’s return. In any case, the accountant likely never had any documents that the client didn’t. Clients need to realize that our offices aren’t your garbage dump or storage facility for all the paperwork you don’t want to maintain.

    • You know what, I’m very much icnlneid to agree.

    • When I worked for the Torrance Trust Mill in their tax preparatin firm, I developed a spread sheet that tracks the running average cost of stocks. It allows for the splits, stock dividends and reinvested distributions and keeps a running average cost for sales. We were lucky in that the investment firm that managed the assets of the people we dealt with was right down the hall and we could look at their files.

About The Tax Blog

  • The Tax Blog brings together a team of award-winning tax journalists from the Dow Jones network and around the web to examine the tax issues, changes and legislation that affect families, investors and small business owners. Our contributors include Tax Report columnist Laura Saunders (WSJ), Tax Guy columnist Bill Bischoff and senior reporter Jilian Mincer (SmartMoney.com), retirement-focused reporter Anne Tergesen (WSJ), wealth management writer Arden Dale (Dow Jones Newswires), TaxWatch columnist Eva Rosenberg and personal finance reporter Andrea Coombes (MarketWatch), and reporter Alyssa Abkowitz (SmartMoney). They’ll provide the latest news and insight, mine the tax code for tips and loopholes, and answer your questions about tricky tax situations. Contact the The Tax Blog with ideas, suggestions or tax questions at thetaxblog@dowjones.com.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Close in:

need to know
All 10 S&P 500 sectors decline in August
Apple will let iPhone and iPad users block ads
J.C. Penney upgraded by Deutsche Bank
Wal-Mart cuts worker hours at some stores
5 silly new words in the Oxford dictionary

Personal beliefs don’t belong in retirement accounts

Unlucky lottery winner gets IOU from Illinois

Ode to that legendary New York steakhouse the Palm

When you absolutely, positively need a cocktail

Teacher with 111 tardies puts blame on breakfast

Automat concept is back — with a lot more quinoa

If Donald Trump can do it, why not Kanye West?

Scott Walker's backers seek a reboot of his campaign
Scott Walker’s backers seek reboot of campaign
Scott Walker wants a wall — with Canada

Dissatisfied voters are fueling Sanders and Trump
Clinton says she supports ‘revolving door’ bill
Biden a tougher matchup than Clinton: poll

Ruling in ‘Deflategate’ expected by end of this week
Greedy owners are NFL preseason winners

Disney to unveil ‘Star Wars’ toys in unboxing event
Walt Disney leads Dow's losers for August

How teen clothing retailers compete today

Sunday is Warren Buffett's 85th birthday
Happy 85th birthday to the $67 billion man


Why BlackBerry is a more attractive buyout target than Twitter
BlackBerry is a better buyout target than Twitter
Twitter's stock jumps after analyst upgrade

Our kids aren’t doomed to be poorer than we are

Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Now is the time to fix your investment portfolio
Both worry, be happy stocks aren’t a sure bet

Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thank you’s
Facebook users flood Mark Zuckerberg with thanks

‘War Room’ is a ‘resounding success’ at box office

By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst
By this measure, stocks have weathered the worst

Cheeseburgers and happiness always on the menu for Warren Buffett — and Jimmy Buffett, too
Farrell: Recipes for happiness, from Buffett and others

/conga/frontpage.html 353759

Markets »

141.44MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 109.98M
Unchanged
217
Decliners
3378
Advancers
3004
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,528 -115 0.69%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,777 -52 1.07%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.84%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,354 0 0.01%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +8 0.74%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47.47 -1.73 3.52%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,259 -39 0.38%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,653 -22 0.47%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,942 -52 0.24%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,259 -94 0.91%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 363 0 0.13%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,762 -22 0.80%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,661 -229 1.21%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,693 +22 0.10%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,206 -26 0.82%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,923 +2 0.07%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.00 0.37%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 120.93 -0.30 0.24%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 +0.00 0.23%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.00%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.67 -0.25 0.26%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.25 -0.18 0.21%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.20 -0.02 0.68%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.39 +0.01 3.44%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 47 -2 3.52%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,141 +8 0.74%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 373 -3 0.73%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,285 -223 1.35%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,940 -29 1.50%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 15 +0 0.61%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.43 -1.58 -1.74%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.76 -0.53 -0.47%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 618.25 -12.13 -1.92%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.34 -0.02 -0.12%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 53.48 0.20 0.38%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.87 0.13 0.95%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.20 -0.09 -0.27%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 33.54 0.28 0.84%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.82 -0.34 -1.35%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist
MarketWatch Portfolio

World News from MarketWatch

Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/88601/composite WYNN-4.03%
  • /quotes/zigman/8669138/composite DWTI-22.19%
  • /quotes/zigman/12221594/composite AMBA-0.71%
  • /quotes/zigman/413712/composite USO+6.79%
  • /quotes/zigman/83890/composite MDCO+21.88%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

MarketWatch will continue to provide the same important news and information you rely on every day. And, as a MarketWatch user, you will be able to enjoy:

  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
  • Editorial e-newsletters about personal finance, mutual funds and market-specific coverage
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  • Games, such as Virtual Stock Exchange and Beat the Darts
  • Free WSJ.com registration

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