Cost Basis for CPAs

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Mar 6, 2009 10:57 pm

Anybody know how to find historical quotes or cost basis info for CPAs during tax season? I have several clients who transferred stock in without any cost basis info (or it was in certificate form in their safe for years) and because of mergers, the historical info is not on bigcharts/yahoo etc....any websites or services out there who can do the research?

 
I can try to get prices from library archives, but dividends and split calculations are nearly impossible.
 
Thanks!
Mar 6, 2009 11:04 pm

If still in cert form, the client can call the transfer agent and get most of the info they need by giving the cert #.   They would need to check previous records if transferred in from another firm as most firms are not too friendly about looking for the info once you have transferred away.

Mar 7, 2009 6:21 am

If the cost basis didn't transfer over, you gotta do the leg work.

You can either:

1- Call the client service number for the previous firm......most firms have an 800# clients can call for help..... I have found them pretty helpful......you'll need to do this as a conference call with your client.

2- Try to have your client enroll online with their previous firm, and access the records that way.....If the account transferred over recently, it should still allow online enrollment/access...........

3- Take the client's best guess as to when they bought it, and use the average cost for that period.......and confirm their accountant is aware of how you arrived at this number.....and is OK with the way it's been done.....

Regarding splits, spin-offs, and company specific events.........go to the company's web site, they should have a history of splits......as well as how to allocate cost basis in the case of spinoffs.......

Sometimes, it's easy.....and sometimes it's not.....

Good Luck.......

Mar 7, 2009 10:27 am

Your Broker/Dealer should have access to a cost-basis service. That's part of what we get at Jones. It's actually pretty slick. Ever try tracking AT&T shares back to the 50's? I had to do it once (actually my BOA did it). It's a freaking nightmare without a service to do it. We have an entire system for it. I can get you the name of the service when I am back in the office.

Mar 7, 2009 11:31 am

Thanks so much to all!

Mar 8, 2009 1:46 am

Call a friend at Edward Jones and bribe em with a pizza to do it for you.

Mar 8, 2009 7:10 pm

DB Cooper--that is what I do!  I have to add a couple of beers to it too!

Mar 8, 2009 7:40 pm

I speak from experience when I suggest that.   I don't know why my firm can't provide me with that service.

Mar 8, 2009 8:25 pm

Tell him to ask his doctor to research the dates that he got his childhood immunizations and when the doctor comes up with the dates, you'll come up with his cost basis info.

Mar 10, 2009 1:43 pm
B24:

Your Broker/Dealer should have access to a cost-basis service. That's part of what we get at Jones. It's actually pretty slick. Ever try tracking AT&T shares back to the 50's? I had to do it once (actually my BOA did it). It's a freaking nightmare without a service to do it. We have an entire system for it. I can get you the name of the service when I am back in the office.

That part is very slick but what about the part that every other firm on the street has? 
 
When that account transfers from Jones, why doesn't cost basis show up automatically like it does for every other firm?