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Suppose I have multiple 1099s, and there are several transactions with the same basis per share, proceeds per share, acquisition date, and disposition date. Can I combine them on form 8949?

For example, can the following lines from a 1099-B:

  • 10 shares XYZ, acquired 1/1/22, disposed 1/15/22, proceeds $110, cost $100
  • 1 shares XYZ, acquired 1/1/22, disposed 1/15/22, proceeds $11, cost $10
  • 1.1 shares XYZ, acquired 1/1/22, disposed 1/15/22, proceeds $12.10, cost $11

be entered on 8949 as:

  • 12.1 shares XYZ, acquired 1/1/22, disposed 1/15/22, proceeds $133.1, cost $121

?

Note that the basis is not reported to the IRS, so exception 1 from the form 8949 instructions does not apply, and I'd be combining them to make wash sale math easier to reason about, so I'd be unable to provide a separate statement as detailed in exception 2.

If this is ok, can a source be provided? I ask because I've seen a few places imply this is fine (as long as basis and dates are the same), but it's not mentioned in the IRS documentation as far as I can tell.

1 Answer 1

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If neither exception applies then no, you cannot. You need to report each transaction separately.

"This is fine" is contrary to the instructions and the IRS guidance. However, if you calculate the gain correctly, not reporting it per guidance would not affect your tax liability, and in that sense the IRS cannot penalize you. They can however force you to prove your calculations are in fact correct, which will force you to show your math to them. Which is the statement they're asking for in Exception 2. Except if it happens in audit it will cost you so much more in representation fees. And if your math ends up not being correct they'll assess penalties, if the amounts are high they may even want to claim fraud (which will trigger even higher penalties and potential criminal exposure).

It is unclear to me why you wouldn't be able to attach the statement showing your math from the start. The sentence I'd be combining them to make wash sale math easier to reason about, so I'd be unable to provide a separate statement makes no logical sense to me.

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  • that makes sense. Just to elucidate my wash sales comment, imagine that I'd sold 10.5 shares at a loss less than 30 days before this. In order to recapture the disallowed loss, I'd be reporting a different number transactions than the 1099-B anyway (splitting the 1 share transaction in 2, for a total of 4 transactions), and 10.5 replacement shares + 1.6 no adjusted shares is easier (for me at least) to reason about than 10 replacement shares + .5 replacement shares + .5 nonadjusted shares + 1.1 nonadjusted shares. I can go through this extra math, it just seems more error prone
    – user115619
    Mar 8, 2023 at 7:58
  • It's hard for me to understand, probably, because I don't see the real numbers and dates. But in the end of the day you have to go through this math to calculate your gain, so why not just do it according to the format the IRS is asking you to?
    – littleadv
    Mar 9, 2023 at 5:49

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