Gain/Loss Reports

Gain/Loss & Tax Center's gain/loss reports show a position-by-position account of your holdings. You can access it by placing your mouse on the Gain/Loss Reports tab at the top of Gain/Loss & Tax Center and left-clicking on Unrealized Gain/Loss, Current Year Realized Gain/Loss or Prior Year Realized Gain/Loss.

Unrealized Gain/Loss

The Unrealized Gain/Loss page takes the current price minus the purchase price for each position you currently hold to show you how much the position has gained or lost since you bought it. If you close one of the positions, the gain or loss will become realized, or completed. To search for a specific position, enter the symbol in the Symbol field provided and click Go. Use the drop-down menu provided to filter your search by covered position or non-covered tax lots.

The Unrealized Gain/Loss page automatically aggregates your information by the positions in your account. Next to each position, click the Expand button to view individual purchases, or lots.

To track your unrealized gains and losses more quickly in your account, you can add columns to your Positions table that pull in data from the Gain/Loss & Tax Center Unrealized Gain/Loss page. These columns include Average Unit Cost, % G/L, $ G/L and Total G/L $. When one of these columns is added to your Positions table, you will also see a Portfolio G/L number included on the bottom of the table.

The numbers you see in Gain/Loss & Tax Center are calculated based on your actual tax lots and the tax strategies you specify, so while your Positions table can help you keep tabs on your gains and losses, it's a good idea to base any trading decisions off the numbers you see at the beginning of the day on the Unrealized Gain/Loss page.

Several of the columns displayed on the Unrealized Gain/Loss page are explained below.

  • Acquired Date - The date the position was opened is listed in the Acquired Date column.
  • Holding Period - When a number is displayed, this is a countdown to Long-Term status, which will range anywhere from 365 days to one day. If the number is 237, for example, the shares will be categorized as Long-Term 237 days from the current day. When Long Term is displayed, the shares are already categorized as Long-Term.
  • Cost - This tracks the overall cost of the each lot. If 'Incomplete populates this column, it means that the position has been transferred in from an outside brokerage account and you will need to enter the cost basis information on the Incoming Positions page. The Incoming Positions screen lists all positions that have been transferred in and provides the ability to edit the cost basis for each.
  • Average Unit Cost - This column identifies the cost per share. This figures is calculated by dividing the Cost in the following column by the quantity in question. It is important to notate that, although an Average Unit Cost is displayed for quick reference, you will not be able to report the cost basis of equities using this figure due to IRS regulations, Instead, you'll use the lot-specific cost to calculate a gain or loss.

Sort the list of your unrealized gains/losses by clicking any of the column headings: Symbol/CUSIP, Security Description, Quantity, Acquired Date, Holding Period, Average Unit Cost, Cost, Market Price, Market Value, Unrealized Gain/Loss, % Gain/Loss, or Covered.

To view this table as an Excel spreadsheet, click the Export to Excel link in the top right corner of the table.

Realized Gain/Loss

When you close a position, any gain or loss on that position becomes realized. The Realized Gain/Loss page helps you track your realized gains and losses with a complete list of positions you've opened and closed this year.

Each row displayed on the Realized Gain/Loss page reports the day you opened a set of shares and the day you closed out those shares. For each set of shares, or lot, you'll see an opening transaction (a buy to open or a sell to open) and a closing transaction (a buy to close or a sell to close).

The realized gain/loss generated is calculated by subtracting the tax cost (the amount you paid for the shares plus any adjustments to the lot's original cost) from the proceeds (the amount at which you sold the shares). Additionally, any disallowed loss from a wash sale will affect your realized losses. Those gains/losses are then classified either as short-term or long-term. If you held the shares in excess of 365 days, it is considered a long-term gain or loss, meaning that you'll be taxed at a lower rate on any gains. Any shares you sold that were held fewer than 365 days would be considered short-term, resulting in a higher tax rate on any gains.

Search for a specific lot using the Symbol field or the time frame options provided. Note that the page defaults to a year-to-date view.

To view this table as an Excel spreadsheet, click the Export to Excel link in the top right corner of the table.

Scottrade does not provide tax advice. The material provided in this article is for informational purposes only and Scottrade is not responsible for any errors or omissions. Contribution and income limits are subject to change without notice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor(s) for questions concerning your personal tax or financial situation.