Gain/Loss on Dividend Payments in IRA Accounts

Quicken seems to calculate the G/(L) on dividends paid to an IRA account at the price on the day the dividend is reinvested.  However, I believe the cost basis should be 0, since these are non-taxable accounts and upon withdrawal,  it is treated as ordinary income.  I have tried to manually edit the transaction and I cannot make the cost basis 0 for any dividend reinvestment.

Is there a work around for this?  I completely understand the process is correct for taxable, non-IRA accounts.  I have double and triple checked that I have the account properly set up as a non-taxable IRA account in Quicken - I've been a user since Quicken DOS, so I've been around the block a few times with this stuff :) 

Answers

  • K.O. (Win-Premier)
    K.O. (Win-Premier) SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    So from a non-taxation perspective (e.g. return related information) the cost basis is important (even if it is in a non-taxable account).  But as you mention from a taxation report in a retirement/non-taxable account it is not.  Remove your retirement accounts from tax related reports and you won't see the information you identified.
  • Mary T
    Mary T Member ✭✭
    It's a fidelity account, and they show reinvested dividends as a zero cost basis for an IRA account.  I would like the 2 to be at least close to each other, but right now, Fidelity shows a much different g/l than Quicken.

    I don't just use reports, I look at the total g/l for the account, and I consider reinvested dividends zero cost basis.

    I guess there's no real workaround except to delete the transaction and add the shares to the account at a zero cost basis.
  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    edited February 2019
    Fidelity has been inconsistent FOR YEARS in how they report dividends/etc.
    In a non-taxable account, they show them as $0 basis.
    In a taxable account, they show them with a non-$0 amount.
    I learned this by having the same stock in both my taxable and IRA accounts.
    FIDO IS SIMPLY WRONG.  Reinvested divs should ALWAYS have a non-$0 basis ... for performance calculations even if not needed for tax reasons.

    Do you want you $0 basis lots to show an performance return of infinity???
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If performance tracking is important to you, the correct way to enter Reinvest transactions is to use the price on the day of the reinvestment, or more precisely to record the total amount of the dividend and the number of shares purchased, and let Quicken compute the price per share.

    If your FI is downloading something different, you will need to edit the transactions and/or get them to fix their downloads.

    If "Tax deferred" is selected for the account, it will be excluded from tax reports.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mary T said:
    Quicken seems to calculate the G/(L) on dividends paid to an IRA account at the price on the day the dividend is reinvested.  However, I believe the cost basis should be 0, since these are non-taxable accounts and upon withdrawal,  it is treated as ordinary income.   
    Your belief is in error.  Gain/Loss is computed independent of the type of investment account holding the asset (retirement or non-retirement).  Gain/Loss is a defined numeric.  While I would argue this is across the board among financial professionals, clearly Fidelity proves me wrong on that account with their inconsistency.  

    Reinvestment of dividends is a choice the investor makes to buy additional shares of the fund (or other security via DRP plans).  In that regard, it is no different that if you took the dividend in cash and immediately directed the purchase of additional shares.  Whether in a retirement account or a non-retirement account, that sets up Gain/Loss based on the price you at which you bought those shares.  That price is never $0.  The fact that such a Gain/Loss when realized is or is not taxable is immaterial to whether the Gain/Loss exists.

    Gain/Loss in Quicken is always calculated on a security basis with the totals rolled up into an account total for currently held securities.  There is not a separate calculation of Gain/Loss based on dollar amounts contributed into or taken from the account.

    No, there is not a (realistic) workaround to bypass Quicken's defined process.  (That is not to say some desperate users have not concocted what I might call unrealistic approaches.) 

    You have not established anything 'wrong' with the current process.  What is driving this question?
  • Mary T
    Mary T Member ✭✭
    Thank you all.  I guess I was looking at this wrong.  I was seeing a big loss in one account that also paid out a big capital gains last year, and honestly, it bothered me since the funds were all, well, at no cost to me.  But I was in error :)  I could have taken the distribution as cash.
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