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I'm about to receive a distribution of John Hancock Financial Services (JHF) shares, aprox. 350 +/- ?. This distribution is the result of JHF converting from a mutually held company private to a publicly held Corp.. Once I receive them, I'll have to pick a broker, transfer the shares and then be faced with a "Tax" question. How should I report this distribution, not that I want to, but the alternative could become judicial and rather annoying. I imagine that Dear Uncle S. has a form and an incomprehensible instruction pamphlet, but I can't find any reference to said things. Could you point me in the direction of the information that I need.
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<< I'm about to receive a distribution of John Hancock Financial Services (JHF) shares, aprox. 350 +/- ?. This distribution is the result of JHF converting from a mutually held company private to a publicly held Corp.. Once I receive them, I'll have to pick a broker, transfer the shares and then be faced with a "Tax" question. How should I report this distribution, not that I want to, but the alternative could become judicial and rather annoying. I imagine that Dear Uncle S. has a form and an incomprehensible instruction pamphlet, but I can't find any reference to said things. Could you point me in the direction of the information that I need. >>

Your first and best source of information is JHF. They should provide you information on the tax treatment of the distribution.

Phil Marti
Tax Preparer
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When I finally got around to reading today's paper, there was a Jane Bryant Quinn column on the "demutualizing" of insurance companies. Although her column was directed at shareholders facing a decision to take shares or cash, she said that, generally, cash would yield an immediate capital gain, while shares would not yield a taxable gain until sold. This doesn't sovle the question of what basis, if any, your shares have, but it does lead me to believe that no immediate reporting is required.

Phil Marti
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JHF says, in its policyholder information statement, that the policyholder has a zero basis in his JHF shares.
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