No. of Recommendations: 4
Finally done.....printed out return - 16 pages plus gets more complicated every year. Even with tax cut, you go nuts finding all the details. SPent 5 hours backtracking companies that issued me 'fractional' shares for spin-offs, to find the cost basis and purchase date. Most of my stocks it seems have merged, spun off something, consolidated, been bought out, and all of them I think have split a couple times.

My mom had about 110 shares of AT&T back in 1970. You wouldn't believe the file of paperwork she had - splits, spin offs (baby bells), LU, the wireless stocks, the mergers and takeovers, the name changes, fractional shares, more spin offs, more takeovers. Fortunately, Uncle Sam doesn't make you find out the cost basis at death. You just come up with a list of the current company names and number of shareholders. She kept track of that - loved those RBOC dividends.

For those of us living, the record keeping gets to be a big big pain.

There's a lot to be said for having 'everything' in a 401K or IRA - you don't have to worry about any of that.

Then again, I've had some mutual funds for nearly 30 years (part of company plan way back when). I have files 3 or 4 inches thick, with statements all the monthly extra shares I've bought along the way, and the cost. It would take a month of work to figure out the cost basis of all of my fund units!....(and the companies won't do that going back 30 years). Some do now - keep track of your cost basis. When you go to sell, you need to figure out your cost basis. Which is why some of these are never going to get sold!.....( I am taking the cap gains distributions in cash each year - slowly depleting this funds).

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