Every year we see confusion over what your Financial Institution handles and what TurboTax handles when you are importing your stock data. I thought I would help outline the process so if you are having questions or problems, you know who to turn to for help. (I am just going to call Financial Institution “FI” from now on, that’s a lot to type repeatedly!)
The first step is where you tell us you want to import your data from an FI that we have partnered with. TurboTax will connect to update the partner list from our server. If you have problems here, we can help you with it.
Now the partner list is displayed so you can choose your FI and click the “retrieve income” button. (Note that it is necessary to have online access to your account already established. Don’t despair, though, the next screen will have a link that will help you.)
This takes you to a screen with the logo of your FI and asks for your username and password. It will also have ways to contact your FI if you do encounter a problem or need to set up your username and password.
Once you click the continue button, TurboTax will connect to your FI. This is where the confusion seems to start. If you encounter an error at this point, you can rule out a problem with TurboTax connecting to the Internet because the program updated the partner list successfully. At the top of the error it will say: “Response from” and continue with the name of the FI. Any error that has their name at the top is an error that only they can help you resolve and it comes from them. These will include any errors about the account, the data or the password.
Once you have successfully downloaded your data from the FI comes the second round of the confusion. Usually it appears that data is missing. It may be that what seems to be missing is something your FI has decided they are not going to include in your import. If it is entire transactions missing this is not the case and you certainly need to contact them about that. But if all your contacts are missing cost basis, that is likely by design.
We give your FI the option of including the description (number of shares and security name), Date Acquired, Date Sold, Cost Basis and the Amount of the Sale. Only the Description, Date Sold and Amount of the Sale are required. It is entirely possible for your FI to not know the Date Acquired or Cost Basis on transactions and most of them will not include this information in the import.
So basically if you are having issues connecting to the internet with TurboTax, we are certainly the people to help you. If you are having issues accessing your account or with what is in the data that is downloaded, your FI is the one who has access to the tools to help you.
I hope that settles some of the frustration and eases the confusion surrounding FI imports.