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I am going through my Consolidated 1099 from Etrade. I usually go through each page of it and try to make organized notes on what occurred for my CPA.

Since we're on the tax board here, I'm going to assume we're discussing this in terms of preparing your tax return.

To be honest, you're wasting your time. As a tax preparer, I don't really need an explanation of your dividends or stock purchases or your stock sales. The 1099 package from your broker tells me all I need to know. And frankly, your writing all over the forms just makes them harder to read.

As to commissions, as aj said, they're already baked into the figures your broker reports. The purchase commission is included in the reported cost. Your sale commission is subtracted from the proceeds to get to the amount reported. Ditto for the small SEC fee. They don't need to be listed separately. You should be able to look at your trade confirmations and compare them to the 1099 and see that the actual cash in and out of your account matches the amount reported on the 1099B.

However, I absolutely encourage you to check the 1099 for accuracy. Mistakes can - and do - happen. But as long as the amounts on the 1099 are correct, your CPA doesn't need your notes to prepare your return.

There are a couple of exceptions. Stocks that were purchased before about 2012 do not have their cost basis reported on the 1099B. For those, your CPA needs to know the cost. Many brokers include that in the supplemental information they send along with the 1099. But they can only include that supplemental information if they know it. If you purchased the stock through the same broker, they often do know the cost. If you did not, they don't. So that's one bit of info to add.

The other that I can immediately think of is qualified dividends. If you didn't hold the stock for the required length of time, any dividend you collect is not qualified. When that holding period ends in the following tax year, your broker may not know if the dividend is qualified. That dividend may or may not get reported correctly on your 1099. Notes about that are helpful.

For completeness, it may be that in addition to tax preparation, you also get some financial advice from your CPA. To the extent your notes are for that purpose, they're fine.

--Peter

And a PSA for all:
Please give your tax preparer the complete 1099 package. All of the pages. ALL OF THEM. Don't pull out just a couple of pages. First off, the pages are almost always numbered something like "3 of 10". If I don't have all 10 pages, I start wondering what is missing. So then I have to call you to find out what is on those missing pages. But mainly, I look at hundreds of brokerage 1099s a year. I can skip over any extraneous pages faster than you can remove them. And then I KNOW I have all of the info from the broker. I can finish your return quicker and with more confidence that it's right. You are not simplifying my life by removing those pages. You are complicating it.
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