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Five broker portfolios - must client pool holdings

Does a client have to pool shares across multiple broker portfolios?

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A client has substantial portfolios of shares managed by five different brokers.  There are now up to 100 or more holdings in each portfolio with a lot of sales and purchases in each in the tax year.  Unfortunately for the first time this year, several of the same shareholdings appear in more than one portfolio.   It would be a huge amount of work to identify the duplicated shareholdings, do the share pooling and deal with bed-and-breakfast rules for these duplicated.  This is going to be an ongoing issue and become increasingly complicated to keep track of.  Is anyone aware of any easement or concession that allows my client to treat each broker portfolio separately as far as disposals and pooling are concerned?  What do others do in this situation?  

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04th Dec 2018 13:24

There are no shortcuts or concessions as far as I am aware to dealing with multiple holdings.
My best advice would be to use reputable software which includes a dividend feed and can cope with pooling etc for your tax return completion. It then keeps track of the necessary actions as you go along. If all you want to do is record the consolidated tax certificates and CGT reports each year.
It is also important to make the client aware of the complications he is creating, not least being the tax return impact but also on the interaction of the advice given by brokers to him if they are not aware of the holdings managed by others. I would be recommending he look for an IFA to clarify his position very strongly.

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to Marion Hayes
04th Dec 2018 16:39

Marion Hayes wrote:

There are no shortcuts or concessions as far as I am aware to dealing with multiple holdings.

If there were, it would be carte blanche to manipulate taxable gains and losses.

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04th Dec 2018 13:31

TaxAngel wrote:

What do others do in this situation?  

Would it be cynical to say 'fill their boots'? Wealthy clients with complex affairs need and can afford the additional support. By all means suggest ways to simplify things and the risks involved in the current approach; but having considered that, if this is how they want to run their affairs, you should charge accordingly.

The brokers are all getting paid...

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By DJKL
04th Dec 2018 14:16

I would suggest to the clients that relying on the broker records is false economy;

1. Unless an ace firm they may well not deal will corporate actions correctly , the one I use makes the odd error (though not really an issue as mainly outwith tax re these, but I have a client who uses them where keeping track of the pools for tax is not as straightforward as relying on the broker carrying costs)

2. Changing broker may lose you the transaction history, keeping a record outwith is useful- my M in L had something I set up with I think DLJ (if memory serves they got taken over by TD Waterhouse), we lost transaction history re the holdings (not an issue as an ISA but still annoying)

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04th Dec 2018 16:23

I have a client with US stocks that the [***] has been actively trading. $200k of stocks, managed $500k of trades inside of 12 months.

Its been a horrible job to sort it all out, all back to first principles and a ruddy big spreadsheet.

Still nice fat bill!

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By DJKL
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
04th Dec 2018 17:11

I will introduce you to someone who was buying on a T20, $500k turnover is nothing, add a nought to it with about 300-400 purchases and sales in a year in and out of about 25 companies; I used to get dizzy trying to do the matching.

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to DJKL
05th Dec 2018 09:16

my guy was about the same 25 stocks, lots of scrip dividends, and 300 odd trades.

The pooling isnt right at all, as he did his own last year and I gave up the will to live on sorting out the opening pools as they trade 10-25% of the stock at any one time.

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By DJKL
to ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th Dec 2018 10:45

I moved to a cheap software product in the end where I just needed to type in each transaction and the software did the work, however it was:

a. under the old matching rules not the current ones

b. cannot for the life of me remember who was the software supplier- only bought it for the one job and then client gave up his active trading. must have a CD or something somewhere that it came on as was a good few years ago now.

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