1099-B FORM and COST BASIS CHANGES for YEAR 2011-2012

New federal requirements for cost basis tax reporting enacted in October 2008 require intermediaries to submit accurate and timely cost basis information to investors and the IRS. The change is the result of a government effort to end under and over reporting of capital gains and losses, while raising revenue to support The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

As a result of the new legislation, financial intermediaries will be required to report cost basis information to investors and the Internal Revenue Service for:

  • — Equity securities transactions on or after January 1, 2011.
  • — Mutual funds and dividend reinvestment plans on or after January 1, 2012.
  • — Debt securities, options and other specified securities on or after January 1, 2013.

The new regulations present an enormous challenge to brokers, banks, issuers, transfer agents, mutual funds and other intermediaries who must now prepare to provide cost basis information to millions of individual investors as well as the IRS. They must choose whether to build an in-house solution, buy a service from an industry vendor, or partner with a cost basis service provider. Firms need to focus on this now if they are to meet the deadlines set by Congress.

The new compliance requirement

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, enacted mainly to establish the

$700 billion bailout package contains new and stringent requirements on financial intermediaries such as issuers, transfer agents, brokers, banks, and mutual funds. In essence, the new legislation is an expansion of longstanding requirements that brokerages

and mutual fund companies report gross proceeds. It has the practical effect of augmenting standing 1099-B income-reporting forms that brokerages are already required to submit simultaneously to investors and the IRS.

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Schedule for implementation

The legislation establishes three stages of implementation for cost basis reporting:

  • — All equity stock acquired on or after January 1, 2010.
  • — All mutual funds and dividend reinvestment plans (DRiP) shares acquired on or after January 1, 2012.
  • — Other specified securities types, such as debt issues, options, private placements acquired on or after January 1, 2013.

BROKERS AND BANKS:

Compliance

Brokers, custodians and banks (herein referred to as brokers) have three years to implement systems upgrades to track and capture the adjusted cost basis information for securities transactions that occur for securities acquired on or after January 1, 2011, for form 1099-B reporting.

The form 1099-B will change to include the new information for adjusted cost basis. Brokers reporting directly to the IRS and the shareholder will need to retool the form printing process. Also, brokers must determine if they will buy, build or partner to handle the complexities of implementing an adjusted cost basis accounting system.

TRANSFER ANGENTS

Compliance

Like issuers, commercial transfer agents will be required to report adjusted cost basis to the shareholder and the IRS through the updated form 1099-B. Transfer agents who are required to track and report adjusted cost basis include:

  1. Transfer agents who administer dividend reinvestment plans, employee stock option plans (ESOP) and other such plans
  2. Transfer agents who report gross proceeds of a sale of a security to a shareholder, and,
  3. Generally, those transfer agents who now distribute form 1099-B.

For equity issues, transfer agents must begin to report adjusted cost basis on or after

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January 1, 2011. For shares accumulated in dividend reinvestment plans, and possibly other plans such as ESOPs, transfer agents have until January 1, 2012 to begin reporting adjusted cost basis. Transfer agents that administer issuer-sponsored or “bank”-sponsored plans, (reinvestment plans, ESOPs and the like), will be required to report adjusted cost basis on the new 1099-B forms.

The form 1099-B will change to include the new information for adjusted cost basis.

Transfer agents reporting directly to the IRS and the shareholder will need to retool the form printing process.

EQUITY ISSUERS:

Compliance

The legislation obligates “brokers” to report adjusted cost basis to shareholders and the IRS for equity securities that have been acquired on or after January 1, 2011. The term broker is used generically in the legislation and can be misleading. The term refers to all financial intermediaries who report 1099-B financial information to shareholders. These intermediaries will be required to report adjusted cost basis. As the legislation is currently understood, those intermediaries include, but are not limited to, issuers, transfer agents, mutual funds, brokers, banks, and other custodians.

Issuers who will shoulder the additional burden of tracking and reporting adjusted cost basis include:

  1. Issuers acting as their own transfer agent
  2. Issuers who administer their own dividend reinvestment plan, employee stock option plans (ESOP) and other such plans
  3. Issuers who report gross proceeds of a sale of a security to a shareholder, and
  4. Generally, those issuers that now report form 1099-B

For equity securities, issuers must begin reporting adjusted cost basis on or after January 1, 2011. For shares accumulated in dividend reinvestment plans, and possibly other plans, such as ESOPs, issuers have until January 1, 2012 to beginning reporting adjusted cost basis.

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PENALTIES FOR INNACURATE REPORTING

The penalties can be very high, especially for those intermediaries that report inaccurate cost basis for a high number of investor/shareholder accounts. The penalty is $100 for each incorrect form 1099-B; $50 for the incorrect form sent to the investor/shareholder, and $50 for the incorrect form sent to the IRS. The maximum penalty is $350,000 a year.