Cost Basis & Asset Transfers

Overview: 

This article provides Interactive Brokers customers with information on how to update cost basis information with recently transferred in positions.  

Cost basis, the original price paid for your positions, may arrive with the transfer of assets into your Interactive Brokers account.  If the cost basis is missing, then your broker may update the cost basis.  Industry regulations and policies specific to your tax jurisdiction will determine the available options.

Ultimately, you are responsible for retaining the transaction records for your purchases and sales.

 

Non-US Persons & Entities

The Position Transfer Cost Basis page lets you specify the cost basis for positions transferred into your account.  If there are no eligible transactions displayed,  then use the Client Services Message Center to send the information to Client Services. 

Send the following position details:

  • Quantity: The number of shares or contracts for the position.
  • Purchase Date: The acquisition date for the position.
  • Total Cost: The total cost basis for the entire position.
  • Currency: The currency for the position.

If you require assistance, please contact us.

 

US Persons & Entities

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 requires US firms to include cost basis and the holding period of closed positions on tax forms and with asset transfers.  For positions acquired on or before December 31, 2010, the Position Transfer Cost Basis page lets you specify the cost basis for positions designated as "non-covered" by the previous holding broker.

Refer to the information below when cost basis is missing from incoming asset transfers with positions purchased on or after January 1, 2011 or designated by your previous broker as a "covered security": 

Assets Received From Another Firm

Assets Transferred Between IB Accounts

Assets Delivered Out To Another Firm

 

Covered/Non-Covered Securities

Covered Securities > Assets that US firms will report cost basis to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Form 1099.  Taxpayers will use the reported data with their tax filing. 

Non-Covered Securities > Assets that US firms may report cost basis to the IRS.  Taxpayers will report cost basis to the IRS.

 

Assets Received From Another Firm

By law, US financial institutions that receive customer assets from another firm must receive cost basis information directly from that delivering broker.  Generally, the cost basis is transmitted within 15 days of the asset delivery.  

The cost basis data may not automatically transfer into IB LLC.  If the delivering broker knows the lots to be “Non-Covered,” then firms are not required to send any cost basis to IB.
 
  • When can I expect my Cost Basis to update after the transfer of a “Covered Security”?  

If the delivering firm participates in the Cost Basis Reporting Service (CBRS), then IB LLC usually receives the data within 10 business days after the assets post to an IB account.

  • When can I expect my Cost Basis to update after the transfer of a “Non-Covered Security”?
Your account may not reflect an updated cost basis. The Activity Statements will display a unit price as of the closing price on the asset transfer date.  
 
When the delivering firm fails to send cost basis data, then the transferred assets are considered "Non-Covered" for the purposes of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.  IB will flag the assets as "Non-Covered" and will not include the cost basis data on any US tax forms.
  • What are your options when the other firm does not send any cost basis data to IB?
For a “Covered Security,” clients should contact the delivering firm and request transmission of the cost basis directly to IB LLC. The other firm must send the information directly to IB.
 
For a “Non-Covered Security,” clients should retain the original cost basis for their records and consult their tax advisor. IB will flag the asset as non-covered and will NOT report cost basis information to the IRS.  Clients will report the non-covered security with the applicable cost basis separately to the IRS.
  • Can clients send cost basis information to IB for their transferred securities?

No.  US regulations prohibit IB from form accepting customer-furnished cost basis data on covered securities for US persons and entities. 

 
 

Assets Transferred Between IB Accounts

Cost basis information will follow internal account-to-account transfers at IB and other movements of securities with like-titled accounts.
 
 

Assets Delivered Out To Another Firm

Along with any outgoing asset transfer, IB delivers cost basis electronically to other firms via the Cost Basis Reporting Service (CBRS).  IB does not send paper Cost Basis Transfer Statements.

 

 

For information about when all tax forms are made available, go to our Tax Information and Reporting page, then click the Reports & Dates tab.

 
IRS Circular 230 Notice: These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor.