DTCC launches online cost-basis information service

Source: The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and NetWorth Services, Inc. have launched a new Web-based information service, called AccuBasis, that provides cost-basis information quickly, accurately and efficiently for a broad variety of financial service firms and their customers.

Investors need cost-basis information to properly report gains or losses when filing tax returns and in determining the unrealized gains or loss of a securities position. While researching cost-basis information has traditionally been difficult, time-consuming and expensive, AccuBasis automates and streamlines the research process and delivers accurate, adjusted cost-basis information in a matter of minutes.

DTCC and NetWorth formed a strategic alliance in November to offer the service.

"Many of our customers, including mutual fund companies, security issuers, transfer agents and broker/dealers, have come to us asking for a cost-basis solution they could offer their customers," said Joseph Trezza, DTCC vice president, Product Management. "And they've asked us to come up with a solution as quickly as possible."

DTCC studied the available cost-basis services on the market and, according to Trezza, "quickly realized that NetWorth was far and away the best. It was a product we knew we could offer our customers quickly."

How it works

AccuBasis is available through different platforms and applications that fit the needs of a wide variety of companies. The application can be designed to look as if it is the company's own Website and can be customized to meet specific needs of customers such as portfolio managers and managers of employee stock option plans.

Customers log on to the company's Website and click on the cost-basis link. This connects them to the AccuBasis Website, where they can access cost-basis information by inputting the security name, a CUSIP number or the ticker symbol, and the approximate date of purchase - the year will do.

AccuBasis retrieves the information from its massive database - which houses security pricing and corporate action information dating back to 1925 - and automatically calculates the changes caused by stock splits, mergers and every possible corporate action, using it to deliver accurate, adjusted cost basis.

Who uses AccuBasis

The Internal Revenue Service used the cost-basis service in a special 2005 Tax Gap Report that identified $11 billion in underreported capital gains taxes. Today, major accounting firms are using it as a means of verifying and providing relevant cost-basis information reported on Schedule D and 1099 forms.

"NetWorth developed its cost-basis product in direct response to countless inquiries from investors, institutions and financial service professionals needing a standardized, cost-effective and accurate cost-basis tool," said Nico Willis, chief executive officer of NetWorth. "It's the most robust and comprehensive cost-basis service on the market today. The Taxpayer Advocate Service - an independent office within the IRS that works to protect individual taxpayer rights - reported that our service reduces taxpayer burden by streamlining documentation of cost-basis calculations during audits and can create a reliable standard for taxpayers, preparers and the IRS. Now, by forming an alliance with DTCC, we can further enhance our joint product offering to better serve the demands of the securities industry."

Customer satisfaction

"We believe AccuBasis will benefit our clients - the mutual fund companies, broker/dealers and other financial firms - as well as benefit their clients - the investors," said Trezza.

AccuBasis is expected to boost customer satisfaction for financial services firms, while bringing them increased cost savings by reducing the manual research and manpower hours needed for traditional cost-basis inquiries.

"Investors will benefit from the convenience, ease of use and time savings that AccuBasis offers," said Trezza. "What took an investor hours, days or even weeks to research and calculate before AccuBasis, now can be accomplished in a matter of minutes."

AccuBasis is offered through DTCC Solutions LLC, a DTCC subsidiary.

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