10 new tax law changes to know

Tax return laws

The trend for added tax reporting, especially when it comes to investments, continues with another new tax statement: Form 1099-B.

One of the most frustrating things for taxpayers who sell assets is determining the property’s basis. Basis reflects your total investment in a property, including purchase price and improvements. It’s subtracted from the property’s sale price, and the difference determines the profit upon which your tax bill is based. Now at least some of those calculations should be a bit easier.

Beginning with the 2011 tax year, investors who sell some assets will get Form 1099-B, which is a new information-reporting tax document. If you sold a “covered security,” that is, a stock you bought on or after Jan. 1, 2011, that asset’s basis will be shown on the 1099-B.

You’ll still have to find the data for basis for assets purchased before 2011. But for this filing season, as well as future tax years when more investment activities will be covered by expanded information reporting rules, figuring the tax due on some property sales will be easier.