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Last year I added my nephew to my individual account in April, thus creating a joint account. My nephew is in a very low income bracket. My questions are ---

1. Can I attribute all capital gains to my nephew and all capital losses to me?


2. If not, how would I go about distributing the income? Does the time the account became joint matter?

Income and losses go to the person whose money it is. Evidently this is yours. If you want to keep your life uncomplicated, keep the account all your money. If your nephew wants to do some investing, have him open his own account. Otherwise one of you will be up to your armpits in nominee 1099's.

Why did you put your nephew on the account? Your questions imply that you thought you could save something on taxes by shifting your income to your nephew's return, but as noted, you can't. I can think of no benefit of a joint account with him and lots of pitfalls, not the least of which is making your assets vulnerable to his debts.

If this is do-it-yourself estate planning, stop it! It's not a DIY project. A competent estate planner would advise you to make the account payable to your nephew on death, thus avoiding the problems of a joint account while you live.

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