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I'm trying to find a comparison of online brokerages when it comes to speeding up year end tax preparation. Especially when it comes to doing return of capital (RoC) calculations for REITs and MLPs. I currently have a Capital One account (formerly Sharebuilder) and I own a Silver ETF which sells a portion of your shares each month to cover costs and I can't tell you how much of a pain it is to keep an updated spreadsheet that tracks each sale, the price of silver at the time of the sale, the capital gain/loss associated with the sale, and the basis reduction. Then when you yourself actually buy or sell silver shares you have to prorate things and it's even more complicated.

I'm very much interested in investing in other non-traditional equities such as REITs and MLPs, but if the tax-time overhead of doing so resembles my Silver holding, then no way is it worth it unless the online brokerage is capable of doing these calculations for you, esp. basis reduction. So far, I've not had much luck in finding a good comparison of brokerages when it comes to tax preparation. Does anyone have useful links or even just experience with particular brokers?

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Assuming US tax jurisdiction:

Most brokers allow you to export data. Services exist to parse the transaction data into IRS Form 8949. Checkout form8949.com*. Their website indicates Sharebuilder is supported.

https://www.form8949.com/brokerlist2014.html

  • No affiliate relationship.

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