Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

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Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

ChrisGood
Hi,

 

I'm airing this before I raise a bug.

 

I've noticed that if you do a Return of Capital transaction [1]

I.e. Stock split with Shares=0, Price=0, Sell=Return of Capital value,

the Trial Balance no longer balances by the value of the Return of Capital.

 

The stock line value in the report does not include the Sell value of the
RoT split.

 

Can anyone throw any light on this?

 

The Balance sheet also shows the incorrect asset value of the stock, but it
still balances

because it (incorrectly?) also shows Unrealised Gains in Equity with the
value of the RoT.

 

[1] https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/invest-retofcap.html

 

Regards, Chris Good


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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

John Ralls

> On May 15, 2017, at 7:41 PM, Chris Good <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> I'm airing this before I raise a bug.
>
>
>
> I've noticed that if you do a Return of Capital transaction [1]
>
> I.e. Stock split with Shares=0, Price=0, Sell=Return of Capital value,
>
> the Trial Balance no longer balances by the value of the Return of Capital.
>
>
>
> The stock line value in the report does not include the Sell value of the
> RoT split.
>
>
>
> Can anyone throw any light on this?
>
>
>
> The Balance sheet also shows the incorrect asset value of the stock, but it
> still balances
>
> because it (incorrectly?) also shows Unrealised Gains in Equity with the
> value of the RoT.
>
>
>
> [1] https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/invest-retofcap.html
>
>
>
> Regards, Chris Good

A return of capital when booked that way creates an unrealized capital gain: You have the same number of shares but a lower basis. You can either recognize the capital gain or find a different way to record the RoC.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

John Ralls

> On May 15, 2017, at 8:42 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> On May 15, 2017, at 7:41 PM, Chris Good <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>>
>>
>> I'm airing this before I raise a bug.
>>
>>
>>
>> I've noticed that if you do a Return of Capital transaction [1]
>>
>> I.e. Stock split with Shares=0, Price=0, Sell=Return of Capital value,
>>
>> the Trial Balance no longer balances by the value of the Return of Capital.
>>
>>
>>
>> The stock line value in the report does not include the Sell value of the
>> RoT split.
>>
>>
>>
>> Can anyone throw any light on this?
>>
>>
>>
>> The Balance sheet also shows the incorrect asset value of the stock, but it
>> still balances
>>
>> because it (incorrectly?) also shows Unrealised Gains in Equity with the
>> value of the RoT.
>>
>>
>>
>> [1] https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/invest-retofcap.html
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards, Chris Good
>
> A return of capital when booked that way creates an unrealized capital gain: You have the same number of shares but a lower basis. You can either recognize the capital gain or find a different way to record the RoC.

It occurred to me that I should explain that a bit more fully.

The original buy transaction sets the basis, and any transaction that changes the balance of money<->shares will affect the trial balance, so you need another pair of splits that adjusts Equity to compensate, just as you do when you sell a security.

Under US tax law (the only flavor I know anything about) RoC reduces the basis so that taxes on it are deferred until one sells the asset
and furthermore are at the (much lower) capital gains rate. There may be other benefits as well depending on the industry the company is in; those companies generally issue special tax documents (called "K-1s" in the US) that are a serious PITA to deal with. Most of the tax advantages other than the deferment are useful only to people in high tax brackets, so that sort of investment generally makes sense only to that sort of investor and makes no sense at all (except maybe diversification) in tax-deferred accounts like retirement accounts. The rules are likely different in other jurisdictions, so investors should study up and seriously consider consulting an accountant before investing.

Anyway, if your jurisdiction allows you to reduce the basis of the investment instead of immediately recognizing the income then you'll want to set up a non-taxable income hierarchy with a "returned capital" account in which to recognize the income and to get your trial balance to balance. You'd otherwise treat it like any other capital gain/loss.
If your jurisdiction doesn't allow you to defer recognizing the income by reducing the basis then an RoC is just a dividend with a funny name and you should book it accordingly.

Regards,
John Ralls
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RE: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

ChrisGood
From: John Ralls [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Tuesday, 16 May 2017 2:05 PM
To: Chris Good <[hidden email]>
Cc: GnuCash User Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital
Investment splits

 

 

On May 15, 2017, at 8:42 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]
<mailto:[hidden email]> > wrote:

 


On May 15, 2017, at 7:41 PM, Chris Good <[hidden email]
<mailto:[hidden email]> > wrote:

Hi,



I'm airing this before I raise a bug.



I've noticed that if you do a Return of Capital transaction [1]

I.e. Stock split with Shares=0, Price=0, Sell=Return of Capital value,

the Trial Balance no longer balances by the value of the Return of Capital.



The stock line value in the report does not include the Sell value of the
RoT split.



Can anyone throw any light on this?



The Balance sheet also shows the incorrect asset value of the stock, but it
still balances

because it (incorrectly?) also shows Unrealised Gains in Equity with the
value of the RoT.



[1] https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/invest-retofcap.html



Regards, Chris Good


A return of capital when booked that way creates an unrealized capital gain:
You have the same number of shares but a lower basis. You can either
recognize the capital gain or find a different way to record the RoC.

 

It occurred to me that I should explain that a bit more fully.

 

The original buy transaction sets the basis, and any transaction that
changes the balance of money<->shares will affect the trial balance, so you
need another pair of splits that adjusts Equity to compensate, just as you
do when you sell a security.

 

Under US tax law (the only flavor I know anything about) RoC reduces the
basis so that taxes on it are deferred until one sells the asset

and furthermore are at the (much lower) capital gains rate. There may be
other benefits as well depending on the industry the company is in; those
companies generally issue special tax documents (called "K-1s" in the US)
that are a serious PITA to deal with. Most of the tax advantages other than
the deferment are useful only to people in high tax brackets, so that sort
of investment generally makes sense only to that sort of investor and makes
no sense at all (except maybe diversification) in tax-deferred accounts like
retirement accounts. The rules are likely different in other jurisdictions,
so investors should study up and seriously consider consulting an accountant
before investing.

 

Anyway, if your jurisdiction allows you to reduce the basis of the
investment instead of immediately recognizing the income then you'll want to
set up a non-taxable income hierarchy with a "returned capital" account in
which to recognize the income and to get your trial balance to balance.
You'd otherwise treat it like any other capital gain/loss.

If your jurisdiction doesn't allow you to defer recognizing the income by
reducing the basis then an RoC is just a dividend with a funny name and you
should book it accordingly.

 

Regards,

John Ralls

 

Hi John,

 

(Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)

 

Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash is
concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.

My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value of
one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.

 

Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
complicated than it should be.

 

I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
you please give more detail?

 

As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero gain/loss)
and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
understand at all. E.g.

 

(Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
10)

 

Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance

$1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances

 

Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage

$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1

$500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

 

Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea

$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)

$500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1

 

Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost

$500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)

 

Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost

$400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)

$400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

 

The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in Time)
shows:

 

$600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400

$1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances

$50 CR Unrealized Gains
Expected $0

 

DR Total $1,100

CR Total $1,050

 

Am I misunderstanding?

 

Regards, Chris Good


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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

David Carlson-4
Chris,

It has been several years since I had a similar situation, but I see that
GnuCash still has a stock split assistant (Chapter 11, I think of the
tutorial) which helps to mash all of the parts of a split into a single
transaction.  Did you try that?

David C

On Thu, May 18, 2017 at 3:18 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> From: John Ralls [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Tuesday, 16 May 2017 2:05 PM
> To: Chris Good <[hidden email]>
> Cc: GnuCash User Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital
> Investment splits
>
>
>
>
>
> On May 15, 2017, at 8:42 PM, John Ralls <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]> > wrote:
>
>
>
>
> On May 15, 2017, at 7:41 PM, Chris Good <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]> > wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
>
>
> I'm airing this before I raise a bug.
>
>
>
> I've noticed that if you do a Return of Capital transaction [1]
>
> I.e. Stock split with Shares=0, Price=0, Sell=Return of Capital value,
>
> the Trial Balance no longer balances by the value of the Return of Capital.
>
>
>
> The stock line value in the report does not include the Sell value of the
> RoT split.
>
>
>
> Can anyone throw any light on this?
>
>
>
> The Balance sheet also shows the incorrect asset value of the stock, but it
> still balances
>
> because it (incorrectly?) also shows Unrealised Gains in Equity with the
> value of the RoT.
>
>
>
> [1] https://www.gnucash.org/docs/v2.6/C/gnucash-guide/invest-retofcap.html
>
>
>
> Regards, Chris Good
>
>
> A return of capital when booked that way creates an unrealized capital
> gain:
> You have the same number of shares but a lower basis. You can either
> recognize the capital gain or find a different way to record the RoC.
>
>
>
> It occurred to me that I should explain that a bit more fully.
>
>
>
> The original buy transaction sets the basis, and any transaction that
> changes the balance of money<->shares will affect the trial balance, so you
> need another pair of splits that adjusts Equity to compensate, just as you
> do when you sell a security.
>
>
>
> Under US tax law (the only flavor I know anything about) RoC reduces the
> basis so that taxes on it are deferred until one sells the asset
>
> and furthermore are at the (much lower) capital gains rate. There may be
> other benefits as well depending on the industry the company is in; those
> companies generally issue special tax documents (called "K-1s" in the US)
> that are a serious PITA to deal with. Most of the tax advantages other than
> the deferment are useful only to people in high tax brackets, so that sort
> of investment generally makes sense only to that sort of investor and makes
> no sense at all (except maybe diversification) in tax-deferred accounts
> like
> retirement accounts. The rules are likely different in other jurisdictions,
> so investors should study up and seriously consider consulting an
> accountant
> before investing.
>
>
>
> Anyway, if your jurisdiction allows you to reduce the basis of the
> investment instead of immediately recognizing the income then you'll want
> to
> set up a non-taxable income hierarchy with a "returned capital" account in
> which to recognize the income and to get your trial balance to balance.
> You'd otherwise treat it like any other capital gain/loss.
>
> If your jurisdiction doesn't allow you to defer recognizing the income by
> reducing the basis then an RoC is just a dividend with a funny name and you
> should book it accordingly.
>
>
>
> Regards,
>
> John Ralls
>
>
>
> Hi John,
>
>
>
> (Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)
>
>
>
> Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
> Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash
> is
> concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.
>
> My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value
> of
> one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
> stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
> investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
> the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.
>
>
>
> Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
> Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
> the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
> complicated than it should be.
>
>
>
> I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
> adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
> with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
> you please give more detail?
>
>
>
> As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
> doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero
> gain/loss)
> and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
> understand at all. E.g.
>
>
>
> (Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
> 10)
>
>
>
> Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance
>
> $1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>
>
>
> Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>
> $500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
>
>
> Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)
>
> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>
>
>
> Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost
>
> $500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)
>
>
>
> Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost
>
> $400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)
>
> $400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
>
>
> The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in
> Time)
> shows:
>
>
>
> $600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400
>
> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>
> $50 CR Unrealized Gains
> Expected $0
>
>
>
> DR Total $1,100
>
> CR Total $1,050
>
>
>
> Am I misunderstanding?
>
>
>
> Regards, Chris Good
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> gnucash-user mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.gnucash.org/mailman/listinfo/gnucash-user
> -----
> Please remember to CC this list on all your replies.
> You can do this by using Reply-To-List or Reply-All.
>
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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

John Ralls-2
In reply to this post by ChrisGood

> On May 18, 2017, at 1:18 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>
> Hi John,
>
> (Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)
>
> Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
> Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash is
> concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.
>
> My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value of
> one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
> stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
> investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
> the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.
>
> Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
> Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
> the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
> complicated than it should be.
>
> I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
> adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
> with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
> you please give more detail?
>
> As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
> doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero gain/loss)
> and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
> understand at all. E.g.
>
> (Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
> 10)
>
>
>
> Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance
>
> $1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>
>
>
> Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>
> $500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
>
>
> Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)
>
> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>
>
>
> Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost
>
> $500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)
>
>
>
> Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost
>
> $400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)
>
> $400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
>
>
> The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in Time)
> shows:
>
>
>
> $600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>
> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400
>
> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>
> $50 CR Unrealized Gains
> Expected $0
>
>
>
> DR Total $1,100
>
> CR Total $1,050
>
>
>
> Am I misunderstanding?


Chris,

Selling and buying back is selling and buying back, it's not an RoC. Remember that GnuCash can handle only one price per day, so the pricedb replaced the price of your sale on 3/8 with the price of the buy, resulting in the Trial Balance report seeing a capital loss on the sale when using the "Nearest in Time" price source. Try doing the sale and buy-back on different days.

To represent an actual Return of Capital you'd do something like
$400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital
$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0 shares, 0 price
$400 DR Income:Deferred Income:Reduction in basis of investments

Spin-offs and mergers are not returns of capital: The only money you get back is "cash in lieu" of fractional shares, and that's immediate income just as if you'd sold the stock. Depending on how they're structured spin-offs and mergers can either be immediately taxable (IIRC Baxter's spin off of Baxalta was) or not (IIRC Abbot labs spin off of AbbVie was not). The shareholder letter will tell you. In the former case it's correct to book that as a sale of the original stock and buy of the two new stocks. The letter to shareholders should tell you what prices to use. In the latter I generally create the new stock account and commodity, use the split assistant to create the new shares then edit the resulting transaction so that the new shares are in the new stock's account. I wouldn't expect either the lots facility, the trial balance report, or the APR to understand how to handle the transaction, but I don't use any of those much. The trial balance report can be brought back into bala
 nce with the same sort of shadow split pair that one uses for capital gains, just book it to a deferred income account so that you know not to pay taxes on it that year. I doubt that the lots facility has any hope of being able to deal with that situation, and I have no idea about whether the APR would be able to figure it out.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

GnuCash - User mailing list
In reply to this post by David Carlson-4
I was going to say that the description sounds more like a spinoff than a split or return of capital. Spinoffs are a bitch because you have to figure out how much basis goes into the new stock, how much stays with the original stock. Add in the fact that each stock has its own value, and that there usually are fractional shares that get cashed in, and… Well, there are a lot of moving parts. Usually, the issuing agency will have a highly complex document to explain the basis and the handling of partial shares, etc.  

I’ve been able to get a spinoff to work in all its glory only with *lots* of effort.

David

> On May 18, 2017, at 4:12 PM, David Carlson <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Chris,
>
> It has been several years since I had a similar situation, but I see that
> GnuCash still has a stock split assistant (Chapter 11, I think of the
> tutorial) which helps to mash all of the parts of a split into a single
> transaction.  Did you try that?
>
> David C
>
> On Thu, May 18, 2017 at 3:18 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> Hi John,
>>
>>
>>
>> (Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)
>>
>>
>>
>> Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
>> Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash
>> is
>> concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.
>>
>> My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value
>> of
>> one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
>> stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
>> investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
>> the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.
>>
>>
>>
>> Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
>> Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
>> the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
>> complicated than it should be.
>>
>>
>>
>> I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
>> adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
>> with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
>> you please give more detail?
>>
>>
>>
>> As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
>> doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero
>> gain/loss)
>> and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
>> understand at all. E.g.
>>
>>
>>
>> (Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
>> 10)
>>
>>
>>
>> Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance
>>
>> $1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>>
>>
>>
>> Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage
>>
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>>
>> $500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>>
>>
>> Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea
>>
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)
>>
>> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>>
>>
>>
>> Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost
>>
>> $500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)
>>
>>
>>
>> Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost
>>
>> $400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)
>>
>> $400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>>
>>
>> The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in
>> Time)
>> shows:
>>
>>
>>
>> $600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400
>>
>> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>>
>> $50 CR Unrealized Gains
>> Expected $0
>>
>>
>>
>> DR Total $1,100
>>
>> CR Total $1,050
>>
>>
>>
>> Am I misunderstanding?
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards, Chris Good
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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RE: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

ChrisGood
May 18, 2017; 8:59pm  <http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/template/NamlServlet.jtp?macro=user_nodes&user=375103> David Carlson-4 <http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/template/NamlServlet.jtp?macro=user_nodes&user=375103>  Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

Chris,

It has been several years since I had a similar situation, but I see that
GnuCash still has a stock split assistant (Chapter 11, I think of the
tutorial) which helps to mash all of the parts of a split into a single
transaction.  Did you try that?

David C

 

Hi David C,

 

Thanks for the suggestion, but as far as I can see, the Stock Split Assistant is only for when the no of shares either increases (split) or decreases (merger). In fact you cannot proceed unless you enter a no of shares. My requirement is a return of capital where the basis is reduced but the no of shares does not change. The return of capital is actually my attempt to record the first part of what should probably be referred to as a spin-off (as David T says) where 1 stock is reduced in value (but not the no of shares) and, the 2nd part, another stock is increased by the same (in this case) value WITH a no of shares issued.

 

I really don’t see much value in the Stock Split Assistant. It creates a split for the stock account, with the no of shares entered and 0 Price and 0 value. I haven’t seen this before. As I have not had to record any splits or merges, I have not done any testing of reports to see if they work with this.

 

The assistant does create a record in the price db if you enter something in the new price, which is presumably so the commodity can be correctly valued in the Advanced Portfolio Report or Trial Balance if you select Price Source ‘Nearest in time’, but the assistant seems to assume that the cost basis does not change which makes it of limited value to me. (Note to myself: I think the guide documentation needs to be made clearer about what it actually does. The example should also show what splits are created when you enter a Cash In Lieu value.)

 

When I tested entering a new price, I already had a price db record for the same date (from previous testing), and this caused GnuCash to crash. I’ll enter a bug for this.

 

Regards, Chris Good

 


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RE: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

ChrisGood
In reply to this post by John Ralls-2
From: John Ralls [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, 19 May 2017 1:33 AM
To: Chris Good <[hidden email]>
Cc: GnuCash User Mailing List <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital
Investment splits

 

 

On May 18, 2017, at 1:18 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email]
<mailto:[hidden email]> > wrote:



Hi John,

(Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)

Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash is
concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.

My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value of
one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.

Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
complicated than it should be.

I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
you please give more detail?

As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero gain/loss)
and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
understand at all. E.g.

(Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
10)

Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance
$1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
$1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances

Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage
$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
$500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea
$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)
$500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1

Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost
$500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
$500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)

Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost
$400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)
$400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in Time)
shows:

$600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400
$1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
$50 CR Unrealized Gains                           Expected $0

DR Total $1,100
CR Total $1,050



Am I misunderstanding?

 

 

Chris,

 

Selling and buying back is selling and buying back, it's not an RoC.
Remember that GnuCash can handle only one price per day, so the pricedb
replaced the price of your sale on 3/8 with the price of the buy, resulting
in the Trial Balance report seeing a capital loss on the sale when using the
"Nearest in Time" price source. Try doing the sale and buy-back on different
days.

 

To represent an actual Return of Capital you'd do something like

$400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0
shares, 0 price

$400 DR Income:Deferred Income:Reduction in basis of investments

 

Spin-offs and mergers are not returns of capital: The only money you get
back is "cash in lieu" of fractional shares, and that's immediate income
just as if you'd sold the stock. Depending on how they're structured
spin-offs and mergers can either be immediately taxable (IIRC Baxter's spin
off of Baxalta was) or not (IIRC Abbot labs spin off of AbbVie was not). The
shareholder letter will tell you. In the former case it's correct to book
that as a sale of the original stock and buy of the two new stocks. The
letter to shareholders should tell you what prices to use. In the latter I
generally create the new stock account and commodity, use the split
assistant to create the new shares then edit the resulting transaction so
that the new shares are in the new stock's account. I wouldn't expect either
the lots facility, the trial balance report, or the APR to understand how to
handle the transaction, but I don't use any of those much. The trial balance
report can be brought back into balance with the same sort of shadow split
pair that one uses for capital gains, just book it to a deferred income
account so that you know not to pay taxes on it that year. I doubt that the
lots facility has any hope of being able to deal with that situation, and I
have no idea about whether the APR would be able to figure it out.

 

Regards,

John Ralls

 

 

Hi John,

 

Sticking with my attempt to record a return of capital by selling all the
stock at cost and buying it again at the effective new cost (as this is the
best way I can see to do this at the moment...)

 

I tried putting TX 5 on a separate day (04/08/2016) so that there was a
separate price in the Price DB (verified) and this time the TB as at
4/8/2016 correctly records the value of the stock as $400, but now

Equity: Unrealized Gains $50 CR

has changed to

Equity:Unrealized Losses $50 DR

so TB is still out by $50. It seems to be using Average Costing when
calculating gains/losses, but Nearest in Time as per report option for the
account balances.

 

I do not understand why the TB has any options for Commodity Price Source.

Shouldn't it always use the transaction values, converted to Report Currency
using tx exchange rate if needed?

I guess it's because much of the code is shared with the Balance Sheet and
it wants to ensure Assets - Liabilites = Equity and it needs to account for
capital gains/losses from stock sales if they haven't been recorded properly
because that affects stock asset value.

I guess if it didn't do that, it wouldn't be any use for finding incorrect
capital gains, although maybe the Balance Sheet should be used exclusively
for that. No doubt there are other reasons too.

 

As an aside, how is the Start of Adjusting/Closing option on the General
tab, and the Adjusting/Closing Entries on the Entries tab in the report
options supposed to be used? I haven't seen any documentation or discussion
on that. Also the Merchandising tab is a complete mystery to me.

 

Sorry for all these questions. I will try to make it worthwhile by
documenting new found knowledge.

 

Your suggestion for a Return of Capital transaction has 2 splits for the
stock account:

 

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0
shares, 0 price

 

Isn't this doubling up on the value? Should they both have 0 Shares, 0
Price?

 

Regards, Chris Good


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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

John Ralls-2

> On May 21, 2017, at 2:24 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> From: John Ralls [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Friday, 19 May 2017 1:33 AM
> To: Chris Good <[hidden email]>
> Cc: GnuCash User Mailing List <[hidden email]>
> Subject: Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits
>  
>  
>> On May 18, 2017, at 1:18 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>>
>>
>> Hi John,
>>
>> (Sorry about wrong abbreviation RoT I used previously when I meant RoC)
>>
>> Thanks very much for your input. Interesting to hear about US tax law.
>> Australian tax law seems similar, at least as far as recording in GnuCash is
>> concerned, but not as complicated thankfully.
>>
>> My RoC transactions are actually to do with a stock split where the value of
>> one stock is reduced, but not the no of shares, and a no of a different
>> stock are created for the same value. In my very limited, inexpert
>> investment experience, the Aust Tax Office has made a ruling shortly after
>> the split, detailing what the cost of the shares involved should be.
>>
>> Using the RoC transaction to reduce the original shares works fine with the
>> Advanced Portfolio Rpt, but not with the Trial Balance, which makes using
>> the TB to validate the correct capital gain/loss value of other sales more
>> complicated than it should be.
>>
>> I tried everything I could think of to add another pair of splits that
>> adjusts Equity as you suggested, but could not find anything that ends up
>> with the right figures in all accounts and a balancing Trial Balance. Could
>> you please give more detail?
>>
>> As the RoC transaction seems to be a problem, I thought that instead of
>> doing a ROC, I would sell all the stock at cost (so there is zero gain/loss)
>> and then buy all for the new cost but this comes up with a TB I don't
>> understand at all. E.g.
>>
>> (Trading Accounts not on, and only 1 currency used, GnuCash 2.6.16, Windows
>> 10)
>>
>> Tx 1 01/07/2016 Opening Balance
>> $1000 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>>
>> Tx 2 01/08/2016 Tfr Bank to Brokerage
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>> $500 CR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>> Tx 3 02/08/2016 Buy 500 Stock1 for $1 Ea
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500,  Price $1)
>> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1
>>
>> Tx 4 03/08/2016 Dummy Return of Capital - Sell all at Cost
>> $500 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>> $500 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares -500,  Price $1)
>>
>> Tx 5 03/08/2016 Dummy Buy all shares at reduced cost
>> $400 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 (Shares 500, Price $0.80)
>> $400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>>
>> The Trial Balance as at 3/8/2016 (Commodities Price Source: Nearest in Time)
>> shows:
>>
>> $600 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
>> $500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1      Expected $400
>> $1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
>> $50 CR Unrealized Gains                           Expected $0
>>
>> DR Total $1,100
>> CR Total $1,050
>>
>>
>>
>> Am I misunderstanding?
>
>  
>  
> Chris,
>  
> Selling and buying back is selling and buying back, it's not an RoC. Remember that GnuCash can handle only one price per day, so the pricedb replaced the price of your sale on 3/8 with the price of the buy, resulting in the Trial Balance report seeing a capital loss on the sale when using the "Nearest in Time" price source. Try doing the sale and buy-back on different days.
>  
> To represent an actual Return of Capital you'd do something like
> $400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1
> $400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital
> $400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0 shares, 0 price
> $400 DR Income:Deferred Income:Reduction in basis of investments
>  
> Spin-offs and mergers are not returns of capital: The only money you get back is "cash in lieu" of fractional shares, and that's immediate income just as if you'd sold the stock. Depending on how they're structured spin-offs and mergers can either be immediately taxable (IIRC Baxter's spin off of Baxalta was) or not (IIRC Abbot labs spin off of AbbVie was not). The shareholder letter will tell you. In the former case it's correct to book that as a sale of the original stock and buy of the two new stocks. The letter to shareholders should tell you what prices to use. In the latter I generally create the new stock account and commodity, use the split assistant to create the new shares then edit the resulting transaction so that the new shares are in the new stock's account. I wouldn't expect either the lots facility, the trial balance report, or the APR to understand how to handle the transaction, but I don't use any of those much. The trial balance report can be brought back into balance with the same sort of shadow split pair that one uses for capital gains, just book it to a deferred income account so that you know not to pay taxes on it that year. I doubt that the lots facility has any hope of being able to deal with that situation, and I have no idea about whether the APR would be able to figure it out.
>  
> Regards,
> John Ralls
>  
>  
> Hi John,
>  
> Sticking with my attempt to record a return of capital by selling all the stock at cost and buying it again at the effective new cost (as this is the best way I can see to do this at the moment...)
>  
> I tried putting TX 5 on a separate day (04/08/2016) so that there was a separate price in the Price DB (verified) and this time the TB as at 4/8/2016 correctly records the value of the stock as $400, but now
> Equity: Unrealized Gains $50 CR
> has changed to
> Equity:Unrealized Losses $50 DR
> so TB is still out by $50. It seems to be using Average Costing when calculating gains/losses, but Nearest in Time as per report option for the account balances.
>  
> I do not understand why the TB has any options for Commodity Price Source.
> Shouldn’t it always use the transaction values, converted to Report Currency using tx exchange rate if needed?
> I guess it’s because much of the code is shared with the Balance Sheet and it wants to ensure Assets - Liabilites = Equity and it needs to account for capital gains/losses from stock sales if they haven’t been recorded properly because that affects stock asset value.
> I guess if it didn’t do that, it wouldn’t be any use for finding incorrect capital gains, although maybe the Balance Sheet should be used exclusively for that. No doubt there are other reasons too…
>  
> As an aside, how is the Start of Adjusting/Closing option on the General tab, and the Adjusting/Closing Entries on the Entries tab in the report options supposed to be used? I haven’t seen any documentation or discussion on that. Also the Merchandising tab is a complete mystery to me.
>  
> Sorry for all these questions. I will try to make it worthwhile by documenting new found knowledge.
>  
> Your suggestion for a Return of Capital transaction has 2 splits for the stock account:
>  
> $400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital
> $400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0 shares, 0 price
>  
> Isn’t this doubling up on the value? Should they both have 0 Shares, 0 Price?
>  
> Regards, Chris Good

Chris,

Sorry, I can't speak to why the TB report is the way it is. Like most of the reports it was written a long time ago and it's quite possible that things it depends on have changed underneath it.

Yes,  both Stock1 splits will be 0 shares, 0 price.

Regards,
John Ralls

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Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

John Ralls-2
In reply to this post by ChrisGood

> On May 21, 2017, at 1:27 AM, Chris Good <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> May 18, 2017; 8:59pm  <http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/template/NamlServlet.jtp?macro=user_nodes&user=375103> David Carlson-4 <http://gnucash.1415818.n4.nabble.com/template/NamlServlet.jtp?macro=user_nodes&user=375103>  Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits
>
> Chris,
>
> It has been several years since I had a similar situation, but I see that
> GnuCash still has a stock split assistant (Chapter 11, I think of the
> tutorial) which helps to mash all of the parts of a split into a single
> transaction.  Did you try that?
>
> David C
>
>
>
> Hi David C,
>
>
>
> Thanks for the suggestion, but as far as I can see, the Stock Split Assistant is only for when the no of shares either increases (split) or decreases (merger). In fact you cannot proceed unless you enter a no of shares. My requirement is a return of capital where the basis is reduced but the no of shares does not change. The return of capital is actually my attempt to record the first part of what should probably be referred to as a spin-off (as David T says) where 1 stock is reduced in value (but not the no of shares) and, the 2nd part, another stock is increased by the same (in this case) value WITH a no of shares issued.
>
>
>
> I really don’t see much value in the Stock Split Assistant. It creates a split for the stock account, with the no of shares entered and 0 Price and 0 value. I haven’t seen this before. As I have not had to record any splits or merges, I have not done any testing of reports to see if they work with this.
>
>
>
> The assistant does create a record in the price db if you enter something in the new price, which is presumably so the commodity can be correctly valued in the Advanced Portfolio Report or Trial Balance if you select Price Source ‘Nearest in time’, but the assistant seems to assume that the cost basis does not change which makes it of limited value to me. (Note to myself: I think the guide documentation needs to be made clearer about what it actually does. The example should also show what splits are created when you enter a Cash In Lieu value.)
>
>
>
> When I tested entering a new price, I already had a price db record for the same date (from previous testing), and this caused GnuCash to crash. I’ll enter a bug for this.
>

Chris,

No, a spin-off does add shares, they're just shares of a new stock. You can use the split assistant to add the shares and then edit the resulting transaction to change the transfer account to the spun-off stock.

Regards,
John Ralls
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RE: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

ChrisGood
In reply to this post by John Ralls-2
From: John Ralls [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Friday, 19 May 2017 1:33 AM
To: Chris Good <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> >
Cc: GnuCash User Mailing List <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> >
Subject: Re: Trial Balance does not include amount of Return of Capital Investment splits

 



 

To represent an actual Return of Capital you'd do something like

$400 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Return of Capital

$400 CR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1 Memo: Reduction in basis 0 shares, 0 price

$400 DR Income:Deferred Income:Reduction in basis of investments

 

Hi John,

 

I tried your suggested Return of Capital but unfortunately the TB now shows (after just the buy and RoC):

 

$900 DR Assets:Current Assets:Bank1

$500 DR Assets:Investments:Brokerage1:Stock1

$1000 CR Equity:Opening Balances
$400 DR Income:Deferred Income:Reduction in basis
DR Total $1,800
CR Total $1,000



There is no Unrealized Gains/Losses line (as expected).

 

There doesn’t seem to be a way to record a RoC and still have a correct Advanced Portfolio Report (APR) & TB.

It still seems to me that, as the (APR) correctly deala with the RoC as I first detailed, so should the Trial Balance. Shall I raise a bug/enhancement? Maybe some Scheme/C guru will want to scratch their itch.

I’ll have more of a look when I get time, but so far, I just get confused when trying to follow the code - I think I’ll need to run the engine code in a debugger to really see what it’s doing.

 

Regards, Chris Good


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