Author Topic: Finding An Individual Bond Cost Basis  (Read 169 times)

Strick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Finding An Individual Bond Cost Basis
« on: March 13, 2017, 06:45:25 AM »
So I'm helping my father-in-law do his taxes every year since his wife died, she was the money person of the couple.  They've been so simple to date I've just been doing them on Turbotax, if there was any difficulty/question at all I'd hand them to a professional and pay for it. 

This year he had a few really large municipal and Corporate Bonds mature.  Not being one that has bought individual bonds myself, I never really thought about bonds having a cost basis, but i guess given you dont necessarily have to buy them at issue so I guess basis matters.  So this year I get the 1099-B showing those $400k worth of matured bonds being received but provide no basis info.  How in the world do you think I can go about finding this out?  My mother-in-law did keep everything, but I mean everything, and given i don't even know a year these were bought in, I cant imagine Id be able to find the original statement from their purchase.

Thanks for any ideas.  I've had to track down my own funds cost basis before but given I have everything on quicken or available on an online account its never been difficult.

Systems101

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: Finding An Individual Bond Cost Basis
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 01:15:39 PM »
If the 1099-B was from a brokerage, call the company that sent the 1099-B and ask.  They may have records.  It is highly likely they can figure it out, though it may cost some research $ to do it.

As part of that discussion, you may need to figure out how the bonds were held.  If they were in the brokerage's name and were held FBO your parents (how most things work at a brokerage), then see the first paragraph.  If they were actually held in your parents' name/SSN, then you may have to get in touch with the depository/transfer agent and see if there is a record that can be found by SSN.  That can work in some cases.

If you can figure out the day, then you can try to see if sales price records are in something like EMMA.  (It will depend on how long ago they were purchased).  If not, then you may need to go have a brokerage do research for you (for a fee).  Those records exist, it's just that some of them are old enough to require expensive subscriptions or other more strenuous research.

Of course, the alternative is to look through the "everything".  I'm guessing I will have an equivalent challenge at some point... but at least I know the bookshelf the "everything" is on...

Strick

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 170
Re: Finding An Individual Bond Cost Basis
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 02:47:00 PM »
Thanks SYstems, I do have a call in with their investment guy, hopefully he has the info.  It just amazes me sometimes how difficult it can be to complete the most "simple" tax return... ;-)