adjustment codes for form 8949

I've entered summary information from Trade Log in Turbotax, but now it's showing a $16,000 alternative minimum tax bill that I've never had before and shouldn't have now (according to an a quiz I took the IRS website).  But Turbotax is automatically entering the information.  I found instructions on the IRS website telling me I need to enter adjustment codes in column b, and I was going to try that to see if it would resolve my problem.  But there's no place on either the spreadsheet entry or "easy entry" method to enter an adjustment code.  I tried entering it directly on the 8949 but TT won't let me.  Any ideas on how to enter these codes, and if I do so (Code B because of incorrect cost basis that Trade Log is trying to correct), will it eliminate my alternative minimum tax?  

I tried importing the trades and entering the adjustment lines that Trade Log says to enter, but TT won't allow me to enter a negative cost basis, which TradeLog says it should.   I can override the entry and force it in there, but the TT representative told me that's not allowed and I can't e-file if I do that, but Trade Log says
"In fact there are real world situations where some traders have negative cost basis."    If I override and do the adjustment lines as Trade Log suggests, I am not charged an alternatve minimum tax, but if I try just entering the summary data and attaching the Trade Log generated 8949, then I am charged an alternative minimum tax.

Any assistance you can provide would be invaluable.  I have been working on this for six weeks and as much as I enjoy doing taxes, I'm getting tired of it :-)
    There is no such thing as a negative cost basis.  If you have a loss and are trying to adjust a subsequent trade cost to compensate for the prior loss, you add the loss amount to the current cost basis, thereby increasing the loss amount on that trade.  Again, there is no such thing as a negative cost basis.
      While the spreadsheet entry method per se will not allow you to adjust reported basis the easy entry method certainly will and automatically puts code B in the correct spot.

      Turbo Tax has set you up for failure here just in the way they approach the topic, but you can enter any adjustment - positive or negative that you want.

      On the "Enter Your Cost Information" page in the "Cost Basis" box enter the number you think is the CORRECT basis, not the basis reported by the broker.  Tick the "I've entered a different cost basis than that reported by my broker" and type in the broker-reported basis.  TT makes the adjustment, positive or negative as needed, and puts that adjustment on the 8949 with Code "B".

      Tom Young
      • I'm sorry - let me try to clarify the entry.  The problem is that the Easy Entry method for entering "Other - Attach a statement - broker reported sales with/without......" isn't the same as for entering a stock.   There's only two screens you go through for that.   There's a box you can check that says "My statement includes adjustment codes as described in Form 8949 instructions", and I can include that on the attached statement, but Turbotax doesn't include it in what they're showing and I don't see anywhere I can enter it.    I can go to the form 8949 in TT and there are no codes in Box B, so the alternative minimum tax is automatically generated.   The 8949 I will file separately from the Turbotax file does have the codes on it, but I'm trying to determine if there is a way I can get that on the TT 8949 so that I don't have the alternative minimum tax.

        I've followed the Turbotax instructions to the letter for attaching the stock sales from an outside source:
      • I guess I don't understand the need for a "B" code to show up of the Form 8949 in order to get out of the AMT.  As far as I know AMT is a function of income and deductions, not a function of a code on Form 8949.  The "attached statement" might have all sorts of codes down at the detail trade level - lots of "W"'s and "B"'s and maybe others  - so having a code at the summary level doesn't make much sense.

        If you want to show a code of "B" on the summary entry line of Form 8949 for your attached statement it seems like you could just enter a stock trade with a description of "See attached statement of trades", enter summary proceeds on the 1099-B page, enter summary basis figures on the "Enter Your Cost Information" page and make your adjustment there.

        Tom Young
      • When I import all the stock trades from Trade Log, I am not charged an alternative minimum tax.  However, Turbotax will not allow me to enter a negative number for the cost basis, so I can't do that.

        If I try to attach a statement as suggested in the link I previously posted (and recommended by Trade Log), it allows the negative number; however, I am suddenly charged an alternative minimum tax.  That is the only entry that could have set it off being that nothing else does.  I'm below the earnings levels to initiate the alternative minimum tax and I took the IRS "quiz" and that also came back that I don't have to pay it, yet TT automatically triggered an extra $16,000 in alternative minimum taxes owed.  Therefore, the only thing I felt that could have caused it was the failure to show the "b" as the code.
      • Sorry, I'm completely lost at this point.

        I don't think it's really possible to have a negative cost basis; once you get to $0 you start recording capital gains.

        I don't think a "b" code or no "b" code has anything to do with AMT; it's a function of income and deductions.

        I can adjust the gains reported by the broker to anything I want; if you accept that the proceeds are correct it's implicit that all the adjustment is to the basis and I can, in effect, say that I have negative basis.

        I think you might want to file for an extension and take your schedules and what not to an experienced pro who can look over your results so far and determine what's going on here.

        Tom Young
      • Thanks.   I would agree but think I finally have it figured out.  Trade Log staff assure me that there is such a thing as a negative cost basis.   Here's what they wrote:

        "The adjustment numbers you entered are positive, whereas they are negative in TradeLog. Although this does not affect the net loss, it does mean that your reported cost basis does not match with the 1099-B reported cost basis. The purpose of the adjustment is to help reduce audit risk by making sure those numbers match.

        We have heard reports that TurboTax Premier does not allow users to enter a negative number for cost basis. The TurboTax Basic edition does allow negative numbers (which is ironic as it is a less expensive edition). We have recommended users contact TurboTax regarding how to enter a negative cost basis in premier, you may want to do that as they may have a solution."

        Thanks for all your help, Tom.
      • As a workaround, create entry say "some entry" as description with same number but positive. Save it. then go to Forms view, you will see the form as "capital gains wk some entry" on left panel. Click it and print it. Then edit every + number to -ve and -ve number to positive. (the printed form will help avoid confusion what entries you changed and what not.)  
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