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That way you don't find yourself years down the road asking once simple but now difficult questions like

Is it any easier if you sell both the original and spinoff on the same day?

We used to own Pixar, which eventually was bought out by Disney. Shortly after Pixar shares were converted to Disney, Disney spun off a small company called Citadel Broadcasting, which started out being a penny stock (maybe 31 cents) and was only worth in total about $50 in our account, but then went to zero in short order.

I sold off our Disney shares this year and had my broker "sell" the worthless stock too, on the same day.

Does that make things any easier, similar to listing "various" on the purchase date of multiple lots of stock sold at the same time. Or should I really still go through the same exercise of extracting the now worthless stock value to it's own cost basis?

While I don't have a 1099 yet, gainskeeper on our broker's site does not yet have a cost basis for either the Disney shares or the worthless shares. I've kept track of the Pixar/Disney cost basis, but the split was in my wife's account before we were married so I have a tiny excuse for not tracking it properly then.


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