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rmbatp
Level 2

TurboTax is telling me I can't enter a negative number, for an option spread, but that is wrong. How to fix? Also wont allow 0 for washsale and won't allow a blank either

Option spreads by definition have a short leg, so one number must be negative. For Wash Sales a 0 is returned in the field from my downloaded 1099, but Turbo Tax won't allow it, no will it be allowed if I delete the 0. How to fix both of these issues.
2 Replies
AnnetteB6
Employee Tax Expert

TurboTax is telling me I can't enter a negative number, for an option spread, but that is wrong. How to fix? Also wont allow 0 for washsale and won't allow a blank either

For the question regarding reporting the options:

 

There has been a change by the IRS starting with the 2020 tax returns that will reject any return filed with a negative number reported in the proceeds or cost basis fields for Schedule D.  TurboTax is flagging these situations ahead of time before the return is filed in order to prevent the IRS rejection.  Some brokers are still using the old convention for reporting negative values and have not updated their reports to match the IRS.  

 

The error message reported by TurboTax is telling you that the number entered cannot be negative.

 

Gains from expired options are reported by entering the gain amount in the proceeds column and no amount in the cost basis column.  The end result here would be positive. 

 

 Losses from expired options are reported by entering the loss amount in the cost basis column and no amount in the proceeds column. The end result here would be negative. 

 

 No negative numbers should be entered in either the cost basis or proceeds fields.  

 

If negative numbers have been imported through your brokerage statement, you will need to edit the entries to make the correction.  

 

 

For the question regarding the wash sale adjustment being rounded down to zero:

 

The error messaging you are seeing with regard to the wash sale entries is a result of automatic rounding of the number imported from your broker or typed in by you.  If the wash sale adjustment is $0.49 or less, then it is automatically rounded to zero.  This type of rounding is allowed by the IRS.  Unfortunately, zero is not a valid value for this field -- thus the error message.

 

To resolve the issue, you can edit each individual transaction (although not from the screen in the review process) and delete the amount entered in the wash sale adjustment if it is $0.49 or less.  This will clear the error message.  

 

To do this, you will need to revisit the input section for the Form 1099-B transactions.  Use the following steps:

  • On the top row of the TurboTax online screen, click on Search (or for CD/downloaded TurboTax locate the search box in the upper right corner)
  • This opens a box where you can type in “1099-B” and click the magnifying glass (or for CD/downloaded TurboTax, click Find)
  • The search results will give you an option to “Jump to 1099-B
  • Click on the blue “Jump to 1099-B” link
  • Click Edit beside the institution name
  • Click Edit beside each transaction that contains a wash sale adjustment amount of $0.49 or less
  • Delete the wash sale adjustment amount and click Done

 If you have too many transactions that would require editing, you can consider deleting your imported information and entering a summary of the different categories of transactions reported on your Form 1099-B (short-term covered, short-term not covered, long-term covered, long-term not covered).  This would require you to mail a copy (not the original) of your Form 1099-B from your brokerage to the IRS within three days of filing your return.  The Form 1099-B would be attached to Form 8453, which will print with your return.  

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rmbatp
Level 2

TurboTax is telling me I can't enter a negative number, for an option spread, but that is wrong. How to fix? Also wont allow 0 for washsale and won't allow a blank either

Thank you very much for the very detailed answer. Excellent! I'll tinker with it this weekend. Thanks again.

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