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Please explain to a dumb kid from Galveston how cum Fidelity, E-Trade, etc no longer have a deadline of January 31st to mail out 1099's.

Too many corrected 1099s. Brokerages simply don't have the information by end of January to issue accurate 1099s.

The deadline to issue the 1099-B, 1099-INT and 1099-DIV has been changed to later dates. Brokerages are in compliance with the new deadlines but also can request an additional delay. Even with the later deadlines not all managers of specific investments provide brokerages with complete information by the required deadline.
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