how do I calculate Cost Basis for Duke Energy stock I sold in 2011, if the cost basis is not provided?

I used to go through this every year with my tax preparer, but I'm giving it a stab myself this year with TurboTax. In the course of any given year, I deposit $50 per month into Duke Energy stock. Periodically I sell some of it. The 1099B never provides the cost basis. How can I figure this out? When my previous tax preparer did this, he lists the date aquired as "various" becasue I'm buying a little bit each month with my $50 deposits. Every year he came up with a cost basis figure under what the sales price was, thus showing a negative gain. It seems like there should be an easy way to do this, any suggestions??

    You mean cost basis greater than sale price I believe. That would be a negative gain (loss).

    Your ex-preparer was doing it correctly. I wish I had a quarter for every question on this site like yours. It is no wonder people lose money on the market when nobody keeps records or knows weather theirs stocks are good or bad investments.

    There is no easy way to do this unless you have religiously entered your stock buys and sells into a program or spreadsheet. You have to have a way to track every share you buy and sell. There are other acceptable cost basis methods, but all require you to have the numbers at hand.

    Even turbotax needs your buy data for the lots you sold. So if you do not have them, you will need to get them from the broker and crunch the numbers.
    • Thanks for the reply. I'm just not sure I understand how the cost basis could be higher if there are no other costs to me (no broker fees or commissions) and the stock value continuously goes up? I definitely earned something when I sold.
    If you made money on your sale of stock, you have a GAIN......meaning, of course, that the cost basis was lower than what you sold for. (The cost basis is found by listing the initial price of the stock PLUS any dividends you received and reinvested in the stock, PLUS any commissions you paid.....the total is your COST BASIS.) Then you deduct the cost basis from the total received when you sold.....To find the cost basis of the stock sold, you may use the First-In, First-Out Method where stocks bought first are sold first.....or you can use Average Cost Method.   If you Google this, you will find several sites with helpful illustrations/instructions for using both of these.....Using the First-In, First-Out Method may be preferable since this will be more likely to give you long-term gains....Also, it will be helpful to check with your accountant and ask him which method he used when he did this for you. If you start with one method (FIFO, for example) I believe you are supposed to stay with that method rather than switch.....You need to check me out on that last statement...     Good luck.
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