Turbotax ESPP and negative cost basis entry

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Ddd7651
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 2:15 pm

Turbotax ESPP and negative cost basis entry

Post by Ddd7651 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:47 am

I receive a 10% discount on my ESPP from work, and it appears to be proper on my W2 and reported. I don't want to pay taxes twice, so I confirmed with Fidelity I have to input my adjusted cost basis, not what is reported since I sell it all within the year.

It seems turbotax has you input it a different way. There is no entry for "Enter Adjusted Cost Basis." It has a section called "Total adjustments to Gains." I have to enter a "negative number" for what the difference is for the 10% discount. For example, I have to put in -$1500 for my refund to adjust properly and increase my refund (compared to a positive entry.) If I put in "$1500" as a positive, it takes it away and adds to my bill. Not sure why turbotax would have me adjust my gains to report properly when it should calculate it for me by simply have a straight "Adjust cost basis" entry.

Just asking if anyone else sees this and does it the same way. Intuitively you would think the second section would be a positive number to increase your cost basis to your actual out of pocket with the 10% discount reported elsewhere. I can't see my summary yet because I typically pay the final fees when I file my taxes.

Edit: I lost money on this stock this year, but with the 10% discount, came out ahead. The 10% discount covered my loss and then some.

sailaway
Posts: 1060
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Turbotax ESPP and negative cost basis entry

Post by sailaway » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:51 am

I follow these instructions for Turbo Tax: https://thefinancebuff.com/adjust-cost- ... botax.html

It looks old, but was still effective as of last year. I have not done our taxes yet for this year.

Topic Author
Ddd7651
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue May 07, 2019 2:15 pm

Re: Turbotax ESPP and negative cost basis entry

Post by Ddd7651 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:58 am

I think I saw that at one point and I was half mistaken on there not being an Adjust Cost Basis Entry. I might have to go that route depending on responses. I guess there is one, but only if you do detailed line by line or import into TurboxTax. I was working on a summary view for the large final numbers since I did quite a bit of selling every few weeks and there are lot of entries and my form has those summaries. I remember last year hitting import, and it immediately imported the wrong basis and I saw over 1000 disappear from my refund and I freaked out and went to summary entries and it added up properly. I suppose that is no excuse and I think I have a better understanding now this being my second year but saw negative issue come up.

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