DTCC talks up cost-basis service

Source: DTCC

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) today announced that The Walt Disney Company, Johnson Controls and Aflac have joined a host of other companies that offer AccuBasis to their shareholders, providing them with fast and easy access to accurate cost-basis information used in tax reporting.

Investors need cost-basis information to report gains or losses when filing tax returns and for determining the unrealized gains or losses of a securities position. AccuBasis automates and streamlines researching and calculating cost-basis information, which traditionally has been a difficult, time-consuming and expensive task. It is offered through DTCC Solutions, a subsidiary of DTCC, and NetWorth Services, Inc.

With security pricing dating back as far as 1925, AccuBasis delivers accurate cost-basis information within seconds, automatically applying to the original acquisition price the corporate actions that affect cost-basis such as stock splits, mergers, dividend reinvestments and other cost-basis adjustments.

Most of the companies offer AccuBasis through a link on their Web page, which allows investors to access cost-basis information by simply inputting a CUSIP number, the security name or ticker symbol of the security and the approximate date of purchase - the year will do.

"I was very impressed with the product when I first saw it demonstrated at an industry conference," said Arlene Gumm, manager of Shareholder Services for Johnson Controls. "It's fast, accurate and easy. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide our shareholders with a great service they can benefit from year after year." Johnson Controls is a leader in making automobiles and buildings more comfortable, safe and sustainable.

Gumm also said that AccuBasis will make her department's work more efficient. "We have many shareholders, especially long-time shareholders, who call for cost-basis information. This will streamline the process for us and boost shareholder satisfaction at the same time."

A number of energy companies including MGE Energy, Alliant Energy, OGE Energy, Hawaiian Electric, Duke Energy, and First Energy Corporation have also chosen to offer AccuBasis to their shareholders.

"Energy companies have an especially close relationship with their investors," said estors," said Joseph Trezza, DTCC vice president, Product Management, Asset Services. "Many of their shareholders are long-term, and the companies work hard to maintain ongoing communications with them, offering special benefits whenever possible. AccuBasis gives them another tool to achieve this.

"Often, these companies have a large number of shareholders who participate in dividend reinvestment and continue to purchase additional shares. The cost-basis issue is particularly challenging for these companies. While they can provide shareholders with their account history, they can't always do the cost-basis calculations, since other factors may affect the final tax figure. That's why this cost-basis tool is invaluable to them," said Trezza.

Other companies are also seeing the benefits of AccuBasis. "We've been getting an increasing number of calls from investors requesting cost-basis information," said Freda Gore, Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of Waccamaw Bankshares, a North Carolina bank founded in 1997. "Up until now, we've been doing it manually and it's been taking a great deal of time. Once we saw AccuBasis, we knew we had the solution to the problem."

Some of the other companies offering AccuBasis to their shareholders include Alltel, Otter Tail Corporation, H & R Block, Union Bank & Trust Co., RW Baird, Integrated Software Solutions, Sterne Agee & Leach, Trustmark National Bank, Horizon Publishing and Hantz Tax and Business Services.

Many banks, brokerage firms and mutual fund companies are also testing AccuBasis in anticipation of proposed legislation that will require mandatory cost-basis reporting for transactions involving publicly traded securities. This would include stock, debt, commodities, derivatives and other securities specified by the government.

The cost-basis provision, part of the Clean Renewable Energy and Conservation Tax Act of 2007, would apply to stock acquired after January 1, 2009, and after January 1, 2011, for all other instruments.

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