For years I have wished that brokerage firms would provide the cost basis for the stocks they sold. A few years ago the IRS agreed and determined that 2011 would be the first year brokerage firms had to provide this information. Once the IRS came out with this new ruling the brokerage firms had to get their forms updated with spaces for this information to appear and then they started providing this information and all was good. Until this year, when the law goes into effect. What did the IRS do but come up with a new form for this information to be provided on. A Form 8949, click here to see it. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8949.pdf. This new form is divided into short term and long term sections with seven columns. Five of the columns are the same information we have been providing on Schedule D for years but there are two new columns. One of them is a “code” column with 21 new “codes”. There is a code for the sale of your main home, a code for if the cost basis the brokerage firm is now reporting to you is incorrect and your basis is higher and a separate code if the incorrect basis is lower. Once you have filled out the new Form 8949 the information is carried to the Schedule D which has a new look to it, see for yourself. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040sd.pdf.
I have several clients that complained last year about the time it took to report the information from multiple brokerage statements onto the Schedule D. I can hardly wait to explain to them that this fairly simple concept has been made complicated by the IRS and will take even more time this year to report.