I generally have my taxes done by mid January when my W-2 becomes available, but I'm often stuck waiting as long as another month before I can file because I'm waiting for my brokerages to send me my 1099s. This happens across TD Ameritrade, Options House, and Fidelity, so it's not just limited to one bad brokerage.
All of the information that is reported on my 1099s, both for personal and retirement accounts, is available via real time reporting in each brokerage's web interface. There is nothing on a 1099 that shouldn't be available from a simple SQL statement that barely changes from year to year.
I understand why deadlines in February may exist for small businesses doing these calculations by hand. But given that every brokerage's DB and software can obviously handle pulling this information in real time from a production database, why does it take over a month for them to send their 1099s to individuals, even via paperless statements? Is there something additional that needs done before these forms can be sent to clients that requires all of this time, or is this just a matter of bureaucratic inefficiency?