I notice that E-Trade reports on the Form 1099-B that the cost basis for vested RSUs is 0 USD.

  1. Shouldn't the cost basis that report in my tax form be the value of the shares at the time of vesting?
  2. If so, why isn't the value of the shares at the time of vesting reported as of the the cost basis on Form 1099-B?

Snapshot from the Form 1099-B form, Cost or Other Basis column for an RSU row:

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  • 1
    E-Trade isn't required by law to track the basis for means of acquisition other than purchase, so they don't. It is annoying. – David Schwartz Mar 10 '19 at 23:14
  • There's no footnote on this item saying that basis was not reported to the IRS? It would be wrong for them to report a basis of $0.00, but missing basis information is different. – Ben Voigt Mar 11 '19 at 0:20
  • @BenVoigt The Form 1099-B form I read contains the notice: "The information provided below is in accordance with Federal tax regulations and the IRS instructions that govern our reporting requirements. You should review this information carefully when completing your Form 8949 and Schedule D. There may be instances where our reporting requirements will not be consistent with your particular tax accounting position or elections. For these reasons, the IRS requires us to provide you with this reminder: Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their tax returns." – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 11 '19 at 0:24
  • @BenVoigt so they absolve themselves from any responsibility. – Franck Dernoncourt Mar 11 '19 at 0:24

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