DSInvestor wrote:For the sales that don't have acquisition dates, perhaps the shares sold were acquired on different dates in which case you'd need to use "VARIOUS" when you enter those transactions on schedule D or form 8949. This could be the case if you made periodic purchases or reinvested distributions to give you many "small" tax lots.
For the sales where there were acquisition dates listed, perhaps those shares were from a single larger tax lot.
Thanks DSInvestor. I did some digging and what you said basically fits what happened. Here's what Vanguard says in their FAQ re: cost basis:
"If I use the average cost method for my covered and noncovered shares, how will Vanguard determine which shares are being sold?
If you use the average cost method for covered and noncovered shares, Vanguard will sell your oldest (noncovered) shares first. Once all noncovered shares are sold, Vanguard will sell the covered shares. You'll also have two average cost figures—one for your noncovered shares and one for your covered shares."https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/F ... ontent.jsp
Before 2012, I had already sold off my initial $3,000 GNMA investment. So when I started selling shares in 2012, I was selling shares that had come from smaller purchase lots. My first two sales in 2012 from my GNMA account were for $196 and $143. Those are larger than my purchase lots that were being sold at that point ($125). So that's why those two sales don't have an acquisition date...the sales cut across multiple purchase lots. The next sale was for only $35 so that one pulled from a single purchase lot and therefore has an acquisition date.
BTW, Vanguard doesn't have to report those acquisition dates. All of my sales were for noncovered securities and according to the IRS instructions for form 1099B, brokers aren't required to report acquisition dates for sales of noncovered securities. They are required to report them for covered securities. Here are the IRS instructions if anyone wants to see them:http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i1099b/ar02.html