Unformatted text preview: We recommended requiring brokers to track and report cost basis primarily because it would make compliance much easier for honest taxpayers. But the second consequence of the absence of cost basis reporting is that it affords less honest taxpayers with significant opportunities to overstate their basis and therefore understate their tax liabilities. Reliable estimates of the amount of underreporting in this area are difficult to come by, but two professors have sized the problem at about $25 billion a year. 9 IRS officials studying the NRP data believe the revenue loss is substantially lower, but they agree that the level of underreporting reaches into the billions of dollars. 10 We have spoken with representatives of the brokerage industry and believe on balance that the revenue benefits of requiring brokers to track and report cost basis exceed the burdens the requirement would impose....
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- Spring '08
- Balance Sheet, cost basis, Nina E. Olson National Taxpayer Advocate