Tax Center FAQs
Mutual fund accounts
Vanguard Brokerage Services accounts
Mutual fund accounts
Vanguard mails the majority of our mutual fund shareholders’ tax forms in mid-January. We also post them online at the same time. You can use this information to report investment-related gains and losses on your tax returns. See our Tax form mailing and online posting schedule to determine what forms you may receive and when your forms will be available, and our About your tax forms page to learn more about what to expect in each form.
You won’t receive Form 1099-DIV from Vanguard for:
Vanguard mails Form 1099-DIV for Vanguard REIT Index Fund in late February. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) generally calculate taxable earnings after the end of their tax year, which typically coincides with the calendar year. Therefore, Vanguard seeks IRS permission each year to mail Form 1099-DIV for REIT Index Fund after the normal deadline of January 31. Upon IRS approval, we'll mail Form 1099-DIV to shareholders with nonretirement accounts by the end of February. Shareholders who have held the REIT Index Fund during the year shouldn't file federal or state income tax returns until they receive their Form 1099-DIV for REIT Index Fund.
What are U.S. government obligations, and where can I find this information for my Vanguard funds to help prepare my taxes?
Several Vanguard funds earn a portion of their investment income from direct obligations of the U.S. government. A few examples of the many types of direct government obligations are Treasury bonds, bills, and notes; and debt instruments issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Government Services Administration. You may be able to exclude income from such securities from your state and local taxes. In mid-January, we'll mail and post online information for Vanguard funds holding U.S. government obligations. To calculate the amount of income that is excludable from state and local taxes, locate the amount of short-term capital gains distributions for your fund, if any, on your year-end statement. Next, subtract this number from the amount of ordinary dividends (shown, by fund, in Box 1a on your Form 1099-DIV). Multiply the resulting number by the percentage from Column 1 for the corresponding fund. This final amount is generally exempt from state and/or local taxes. Note: GNMA securities are not direct U.S. government obligations.
If you invest in a Vanguard fund subject to the foreign tax credit, you'll receive Foreign Tax Paid Reporting Information in a mailing separate from your Form 1099-DIV. If you need a country-by-country breakdown of foreign taxes paid, you may visit our website for financial advisors for additional information. You can also consult the Instructions for Form 1116 (available at the IRS website).
Why is the dividend amount paid by my Vanguard international fund different on my Form 1099-DIV than on my year-end statement?
The amount shown on Form 1099-DIV as "Total ordinary dividends" is the gross amount of dividends paid, which includes foreign taxes paid. The "Income dividend" amount shown on your year-end statement represents the net amount of dividends paid, after the foreign tax—shown in Box 6 of Form 1099-DIV—has been paid.
In January, we'll post online a fund-by-fund listing of the most recent dividend and capital gains distributions for all Vanguard funds, including distribution amounts; record, reinvest, and payable dates; and reinvest prices.
You can make traditional or Roth IRA contributions for the 2015 tax year until April 15, 2016. You can make traditional or Roth IRA contributions for 2016 from January 1, 2016, until April 15, 2017. View contribution limits for IRAs and other retirement accounts.
You recharacterize Roth IRA assets either by directing a previous Roth IRA contribution into another type of IRA instead, or by nullifying a previous Roth IRA conversion.
It depends on your situation. The alternative minimum tax, or AMT, was enacted in the 1970s to target high-income taxpayers whose numerous tax credits and deductions allowed them to pay little or no federal income tax. Every year, more individuals are subject to the AMT because it was never indexed for inflation. As a Vanguard investor, you may be impacted if you own tax-exempt bond or money market funds. For more information, see Your Vanguard tax-exempt investments and AMT.
Vanguard Brokerage Services accounts
For a complete list of tax forms and their availability, see our Tax form schedule. Depending on the activity in your account, your statement may include one or more of the following forms: 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC, and 1099-OID.
You may still receive revised Tax Information Statements from Vanguard Brokerage if your securities' issuers reclassify income in late February or after. If you hold these types of securities, or have received a revised Tax Information Statement in the past, you may find it helpful to delay filing your tax return to avoid having to file an amended return. To avoid penalties, please make sure to file your return and any required forms prior to the applicable IRS deadlines.
Information from your Tax Information Statements and Form 1099-R will be available for download into TurboTax in mid-February.
Where can I learn more about how changes in cost basis reporting requirements will affect my tax filing?
You can visit our Cost basis resource center for details about the cost basis reporting changes and how they'll affect your tax filing. You’ll learn about a new IRS form (Form 8949) that you'll need to complete as part of the reporting of gains and losses on your investment sales.
Why did I receive a cost basis allocation factor for unit investment trust (UIT) securities held in my brokerage account?
As a result of regulatory changes, brokerage firms must provide you with information necessary to report cost basis information related to certain unit investment trusts. We fulfill this requirement by providing a cost basis allocation factor. Refer to the Vanguard Brokerage Tax Information Statement reference guide for more information.
I'm an exempt recipient. Why did I receive a Tax Information Statement for my nonretirement account?
For recipients who are exempt from Form 1099 reporting, Vanguard Brokerage provides a Courtesy Tax Information Statement (Courtesy Form 1099-Consolidated) for informational purposes only. Generally, Vanguard Brokerage does not report this information to the IRS. Courtesy statements can be identified by the disclosure at the bottom stating that the information will not be reported to the IRS. Note: In certain instances, reportable activity may be present in the Form 1099-INT and Form 1099-MISC sections of your Courtesy Tax Information Statement. Please refer to the Vanguard Brokerage Tax Information Statement reference guide and consult a qualified tax advisor for additional details.
Qualified dividends are ordinary dividends that are subject to federal income tax at the capital gains rate. Long term capital gains rates are currently 0%, 15%, and 20% depending on your marginal tax rate. There may also be an additional 3.8% tax on net investment income, including dividends, to the extent your modified adjusted gross income exceeds a threshold amount. Note that some dividends reported in Box 1b of Form 1099-DIV may not be qualified dividends if you didn't meet certain minimum holding requirements. Generally, for a dividend to be classified as qualified, you must have held that stock unhedged for at least 61 days out of the 121-day period that began 60 days before the ex-dividend date. For certain preferred stocks, the relevant holding period is at least 91 days out of the 181-day period beginning 90 days before the ex-dividend date.
Please refer to the Vanguard Brokerage Services 2014 Tax Information Statement reference guide (posted online in late January) for detailed information about your Tax Information Statements.
If you held a CDO, REMIC, or certain WHFITs with an original issue discount (OID) in your brokerage account during 2015, the IRS requires that we provide you with an Additional Written Statement by March 15, 2016. This statement will contain interest income that you must report on your tax return. The interest income will be shown in Box 2 on Form 1099-OID, which will be enclosed with your Additional Written Statement titled "Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO), Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit (REMIC), or Widely Held Fixed Investment Trust (WHFIT)." If you held any of the investments above, we recommend that you delay filing your tax return until you receive the Additional Written Statement. If you held any pass-through mortgage-backed securities (also known as "Widely Held Mortgage Trusts" or WHMTs), you will receive a separate Additional Written Statement titled "Pass-Through Mortgage-Backed Securities Widely Held Mortgage Trusts." Clients who held a WHMT should be aware that these trusts are pass-through entities. This means that the trust's shareholders are responsible for payment of taxes on the trust's income. If you held these types of securities, you should delay your filing until after you receive all applicable Additional Written Statements by March 15, 2016. If you have questions about reporting these items, you should consult a qualified tax advisor.
Vanguard Brokerage Services is a division of Vanguard Marketing Corporation, member FINRA.