Each time you purchase a security, it creates a new tax lot. The tax lot contains the number of shares purchased, the cost basis and the purchase date. When you sell the security, the lot is closed and the sales proceeds are associated with the lot. If you only sell some of the shares in a single tax lot, the lot will be divided into two, separating the remaining shares from those that were sold.
Every time you buy shares, an Open Tax Lot is created to track the date and the price of the purchased security. When you sell the shares, tax lots allow us to automatically find the shares that help keep your taxes as low as possible.
With Open Tax Lots, you can track the following information for each security you currently own:
Open Tax Lots will also be useful in the following ways:
If you have any specific questions about tax planning when you invest, please seek the advice of a tax advisor or financial consultant.
Every time you sell shares, a Closed Tax Lot is created to track the date and price of your sale.
With Closed Tax Lots, you can track the following information for each security you currently own:
Closed tax lots will also be useful in the following ways:
The cost basis and gain/loss information is based on trade data or information that you enter. Total realized and unrealized gains/losses do not include securities for which cost basis is unavailable. The tax tools allow you to change the cost basis of all unrealized gains and losses, however, we take no responsibility for the information you provide.
Remember the accuracy of the calculations provided depend on the accuracy of the information you have entered. For securities purchased through this account, the calculations are based on actual trade data. While an attempt is made to provide precise data, the accuracy of all trade information is not guaranteed.
This information is for general guidance. We are not authorized to give tax advice. Because of the complexity of tax regulations and the individual circumstances of our customers, this information may not be complete or accurate for tax-reporting purposes. For example, we can’t identify losses that may be disallowed because of wash sale rules.
To edit your tax lot:
Any noncovered tax lot can be edited, with the exception of pending tax lots. You can also edit costs for securities purchased in your non-taxable and tax-deferred accounts.
If you have more than 24 entries to make for a single security position, you can still enter this information by following these steps:
In accordance with IRS regulations, taxable gains and losses are calculated and maintained only at the Account level, not the Folio level. As a result, this requirement actually allows the tax lots that are best suited to your tax lot inventory relief method to be sold when placing a sell trade in the account. Although the shares will be sold from the Folio in which the trade is placed, the tax lots will be selected from wherever they are most consistent with your tax lot inventory relief selection.
Short and long-term gain and loss tax lots can be viewed on your Account Holdings page. To determine which Folio holds a position, in the Shares column select the number.
The Account Holdings page shows capital gains and losses reflecting actual tax lots and the inventory relief method used for the account.
Only Account level tax lots are used for tax purposes.
As required by these regulations, we only adjust tax lots as a result of wash sales that occur with an identical security (same CUSIP) in the same account (even though the wash sale rule applies across multiple accounts). Although you are not allowed to claim the loss that results from a wash sale for tax purposes, the disallowed amount is added to the cost of the repurchased security. The disallowed loss amount is also reported to the IRS.
The wash sale rule only applies to losses. Gains must be reported even if the same or similar shares are purchased within thirty (30) days of the sale.
The ability to apply tax management strategies on an account-wide basis will allow you to more efficiently manage portfolios. When securities are sold, the system maximizes the tax benefit by scanning across all of your Folios in an account for the desired tax lot. While the most beneficial tax lot will be used at the account level, security sales continue to occur from the intended Folio.
For example, assume the following transactions take place within an account:
In the past, the sale of shares from Folio 2 would have resulted in the sale of the tax lot purchased in the same Folio on July 1st. Selecting this particular tax lot would result in a short-term capital gain of $300.
With Account level tax lot management, the system will look for tax lots across the entire account. With these changes, the tax lot purchased on April 1st is eligible to be selected. Choosing this lot will result in a short-term loss of $100. The actual lot selected will continue to depend on the inventory relief method selected for the account.
To view your short-term and long-term gains or losses:
To download both realized and unrealized gains and losses, go to your Tax Center.
A tax lot selection method allows you to choose the order in which your tax lots are relieved and could affect how much you pay in Capital Gains taxes. Tax lot selection is also known as Inventory Relief method.
Each time you buy shares of a security, you accumulate a tax lot. (If you buy 10 shares of Security XYZ once per day over a 5 day period, you will have 5 tax lots.) Tax lots purchased over 1 year ago are considered long-term and transaction proceeds from the sale of long-term lots are generally taxed at a lower rate than the proceeds from the sale of lots purchased less than 1 year ago, which are considered short-term proceeds. If you are investing consistently, over time you will accumulate many tax lots, and inevitably some will gain value and some will lose value (unrealized gains and losses).
When you decide to sell shares of a security, tax lots will be automatically selected based on the tax lot selection method you have chosen for your account. The sold tax lots are now called realized gains or losses. After deducting losses, any remaining gains will be taxed at either your Short-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate or your Long-Term Capital Gains Tax Rate.
For example, if you purchased 10 shares of Security XYZ once a month over a 2 year period, you will have 24 unrealized tax lots, 12 short-term and 12 long-term, and a combination of gains and losses. If you choose to sell 10 shares, one of those 24 tax lots will be automatically selected to be realized.
We offer 10 methods which use different criteria to determine which of those tax lots will be sold. Some use time as the only parameter. For instance, if First In – First Out is the tax lot selection method you chose, then the oldest tax lot will be realized, regardless of whether it is a gain or loss. Others use value to determine the order. Maximize Losses/Minimize Gains would sell your largest loss first, regardless of whether it is a long or short-term loss. We also offer options that create more complex selection criteria that take both time and value into consideration. Additionally, we offer two tax rate weighted options which personalize the selection to take into account the Capital Gains tax rates you enter for you.
Weighted inventory relief methods use your long and short-term tax rates to determine which tax lots will be sold first.
See below for an example illustrating how we determine the order tax lots are relieved.
Here are four tax lots of security XYZ. We will refer to the tax lots as Tax Lot A–D. Each tax lot is labeled with the number of shares, its gain or loss per share, and its status (whether it is a long-term or short-term tax lot).
Long-term tax lots were purchased more than one year ago. Short-term tax lots were purchased within the past year.
Using the Maximize Losses / Minimize Gains method, the shares are sold, or relieved, from largest loss to largest gain.
If the account holder sells 100 shares, he will sell Tax Lot A.*
The Maximize Losses/Minimize Gains, Tax Weighted method also sells shares from largest loss to largest gain, but first, it will adjust the tax lots based on your Capital Gains Tax Rates. In order to select this method, the long-term and short-term tax rates for the account holder must be provided. We will determine the factor by which we will weigh the tax lots.
|Short-term tax rate →||
|Long-term tax rate →|
The Tax Weighted method is using the factor to give more weight to the short-term tax lots because they are taxed at a higher rate. The table below shows an equation for each tax lot, where the gain or loss is multiplied by the factor, resulting in a weighted gain or loss.
|Tax Lot||Status||Gain or Loss /Share||Multiply by||Factor||Equals||Gain or Loss/Share Weighted|
Note: The Gain/Loss Weighted column, created by the factor, is a mechanism used to determine the order in which tax lots are sold. The value of the tax lot does not change.
Using the number in the Gain/Loss Weighted column we have a relief order that differs from the Maximize Losses/Minimize Gains method.
If the account holder using this method were to sell 100 shares, he would sell Tax Lot B.*
*This example has been simplified to illustrate differences between two inventory relief methods. In this example, we have assumed a long-term tax rate of 15% and a short-term tax rate of 33% based on an income of $250,000 or less.
To change your tax lot selection:
To import your tax lots to TurboTax or other popular tax software:
Please see the IRS instructions for your tax return type to determine where to include the capital gains (typically these are included as part of the IRS Schedule-D). The total short and long-term gains can be found on your 1099-B and in the printout that you produced. Attach all pages to your tax return as required by the IRS. Instructions for importing files into TurboTax are located on the TurboTax website. That page was created and is hosted by TurboTax. We make no representations as to the accuracy of the information found there. If you have further questions on importing a file into the TurboTax software, please contact TurboTax Support.
File uploads are not possible in the online version of TurboTax. To upload Folio Institutional tax files, you must use the downloadable or desktop versions of TurboTax. This is a limitation imposed by TurboTax—not by us. TurboTax does not support more than 3,000 tax lots to be imported into their software. If you have more than 3,000 tax lots in your downloaded file, you should use our printed list and attach it to your filing.
If you transferred shares to us, you should provide their tax lots—the date you purchased the shares and the total purchase price (including commissions) that you paid for the shares. This information is needed to determine your taxes.
“N/A” will appear in the Estimated Gain/Loss column if you have not provided tax lots.
When you sell the shares, tax lots allow us to automatically find the shares that fit the tax lot selection method you’ve chosen to keep your taxes as low as possible.
You will not be able to enter this information after you sell the shares.
Follow these steps to provide this information.
Review trade confirmations and statements from your former brokerage to determine the purchase date and total purchase price. If you have not kept these records, you may be able to obtain the information by contacting the brokerage.
If you have provided this information, but feel you entered it incorrectly, follow these steps to edit the information.
The tool will initially render a chart, using all open, short term tax lots with both gains and losses. Tax lots for symbols held in Non-Folio Holdings are not included. Select the term and gains/losses to narrow tax lots only to those that satisfy your filter criteria. Specify inclusions/exclusions at the symbol or tax lot level to filter tax lots even further. The values shown in Tax Lot Info will change to reflect your filter criteria.
Enter the amount of cash you wish to generate and/or desired taxable gain or loss. Or enter either one of these values and then use the sliders to specify the remaining value. The point in the graph will move to correspond with the values displayed in the Cash Proceeds and Gain/Loss fields.
Based on your specifications, you may have the option to select one or all of the following Order Options.
Generate orders using FDIC.CASH in order to keep the proceeds of this sale within each folio.
Help manage wash sales by adding the selected securities to the account exclusion list for future transactions. You must remember to remove these exclusions after 30 days.
Ignore previously excluded securities when placing this order.
Tax lot details will be divided between short-term sells and long-term sells.
Each security will be listed in a separate row. The rows will contain the following information in order from left to right:
Symbol: The trading symbol for the company your client owns security in.
Security: The name of the company your client owns security in.
Purchase Date: The date the security was purchased.
Shares to Sell: The estimated number of shares you are selling based on last transaction prices that are at least 20 minutes old. Keep in mind that the last transaction may have occurred more than 20 minutes ago. The number of shares we actually sell may fluctuate depending on price movements between now and the time the order is executed.
Total Cost of Shares: The price paid for the shares multiplied by the “Shares to Sell.” If you purchased the shares on more than one occasion, we will combine the total cost for all purchases.
Total Current Value of Shares: The “Shares to Sell” multiplied by last transaction prices that are at least 20 minutes old. Keep in mind that the last transaction may have occurred more than 20 minutes ago. The number of shares we actually sell may fluctuate depending on price movements between now and the time the window closes.
Estimated Gain / Loss: If the “Current Total Value of Shares” is greater than the “Total Cost of Shares” when the order is executed, the sale will result in a gain.
If the “Current Total Value of Shares” is less than the “Total Cost of Shares” when the order is executed, the sale will result in a loss. If a loss is expected, the “Estimated Gain/Loss” amount will be in parentheses.
If the shares you are selling were transferred to us from another brokerage, and you have not provided their purchase date and cost, “N/A” will appear. Select “provide the missing information” on the right side of the page to learn how you can provide the missing information.
The “Estimated Gain/Loss” is based on last transaction prices that are at least 20 minutes old. The actual gain/loss may differ once the order is executed. Keep in mind that the last transaction may have occurred more than 20 minutes ago.
Totals: The shares to sell, total cost of shares, total current value of shares, and estimated capital gains / losses are totaled at the bottom of the page.
You may dramatically reduce your clients’ taxes and boost their returns if you keep track of the date and price that you purchase each share, and you sell the exact shares that save the most in taxes. That’s a big if for investors who don't have the time or the patience to keep and analyze detailed trading records on their own.
Folio Financial, Inc. has an easy solution. We keep track of tax information for you by creating a “tax lot” record each time you buy a security and reinvest cash distributions (dividends, capital gains, and return of capital) for clients.
When you sell shares, your clients’ tax bill depends on the profit or loss and how long they have owned the shares. If they owned the shares for less than a year, their profits will be taxed at the short-term rate, the personal income tax rate. If the shares were held for more than a year, the long-term capital gains rate of 20% applies.
At most brokerage firms and mutual funds, selecting the specific shares you are selling is so difficult that you give up on managing taxes. This costs your client money because what really counts is the after-tax return on investments. Choosing the best securities to sell from a tax perspective can increase clients’ returns dramatically.
This example shows how Folio Financial, Inc.’s system to track tax lots help reduce clients’ tax bill by 50%:
Example Assume you purchased shares of the same security on 2 different occasions creating 2 tax lots.
Total holdings are 200 shares. Two years later, you want to sell $1,500 of the security. The market price is $30 per share, so you decide to sell 50 shares.
If you sell from the February 1 tax lot the capital gains on each share will be $10 or $500 for 50 shares. If the shares come from the August 1 tax lot the capital gains on each share will be only $5 or a total of $250.
|Purchase Date||Tax Lot||Shares Bought||Purchase Price||Shares Sold||Sale Price||Profit||Tax|
Most brokers require you to use the “First In - First Out” method, unless your client writes a letter stating which shares to sell. If your broker used “First In - First Out,” your client would owe the higher amount, $100, in taxes.
On the other hand, your client’s Folio Financial, Inc. account is set to “Minimize Gain or Maximize Loss” whenever you sell, unless you change it to another of our eight tax lot selection methods. Our system automatically sells from the August 1st tax lot. With the click of a button, your client’s taxes have decreased from $100 to $50.
If you sell a security held for one year or less, the profits are taxed at the “short-term” rate, the personal income tax rate. The current Federal personal income tax rates are 15%, 28%, 31%, 36%, and 39.6%.
If you sell a security held more than one year, profits are taxed at the “long-term” capital gains rate, which is 20% in most cases. If your income tax rate is 15%, then your long-term rate will be 10%.
If you sell security at a capital loss, and in any given year the losses are greater than gains, clients can deduct the losses from their income for tax purposes. A maximum of $3,000 can be deducted each year. Any losses beyond $3,000 can be carried forward and deducted from future yearly income figures.
The holding period begins the day after you buy a security. One year from the beginning of the holding period, long-term capital gains rates go into effect. For example, if you bought 100 shares of security on June 1, 2000, the holding period begins on June 2, 2000. Long-term rates go into effect on June 2, 2001.
We give you eight choices for controlling taxes that are explained above.
When you open an account for a client, we automatically select a choice that applies universally to all sell orders, “Minimize Gain or Maximize Loss.” You can change this setting when you open an account or by selecting the client’s “view” on the Client Accounts tab. The change you make will apply universally, every time you sell shares.
If you want to maintain a universal setting and change the setting for just one trade order, you can do so from the page where you place a trade. The setting will change for that one order but automatically revert back to your universal setting for all future sales.
At the end of the year, Folio Financial, Inc. will send your client a statement listing the dividends received and the short and long-term capital gains and losses for securities you sold. This list can be attached to clients’ Internal Revenue Service Schedule D or downloaded into popular tax calculation programs.
Tax lot records are not kept for non-taxable or tax deferred retirement accounts. Because clients pay no taxes when you sell securities in a retirement account, it is not necessary to record specific tax lots or choose a tax lot method. You will still be able to track the performance and capital gains of non-taxable accounts based on the average cost per share.
In general, your client will owe tax when you sell security and make a profit after subtracting brokerage fees.
Your client does not pay taxes on trading profits in a non-taxable retirement account. Retirement accounts are either “tax-deferred,” such as a regular Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or “non-taxable,” such as a Roth IRA account.
Every time you buy shares, an open tax lot is created to track the date and the price of purchase. Since these unrealized gains and losses are based on quotes that are 20 minutes old, open tax lots do not reflect the actual gains or losses your client would realize if you sold your shares.
Follow these steps to view your open tax lots.
Every time you sell shares, a closed tax lot is created to track the date and the price of the sale. Follow these steps to view the amount of any gain or loss and whether it was short or long-term.
Follow these steps to view your open tax lots.