Tax-Related Frequently Asked Questions
Before taking any action based on the tax information provided, we recommend consulting your Financial Advisor. Specific questions regarding your personal income tax situation should be referred to your tax advisor.
- What is a capital gain?
- Why do the mutual funds distribute capital gains?
- What is the difference between short-term and long-term capital gains?
- When are taxes paid on capital gains distributions?
- What is "buying a dividend"?
- What is a cost basis?
- Where can I learn more about dividend dates and distribution amounts for BlackRock funds?
- If distributions are reinvested, are they still subject to taxes?
- Does BlackRock try to limit capital gain distributions?
- What is the difference between record date, ex-date and payable date?
- If a mutual fund's NAV has fallen this year, how does it distribute a capital gain?
- Why does a mutual fund's NAV drop when a distribution is paid?
- When is a Form 1099 sent to shareholders?
- How are distributions recorded on forms 1099-DIV?
- Who do I contact if I have not received a 1099?
- Where can I find more information on BlackRock Funds?
What is a capital gain?
A capital gain is the difference between the purchase price and the selling price of an asset (i.e., stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares) which results in a profit. For example, if a stock for $100 is purchased and later sold for $120, the capital gain is $20. A capital loss would result from selling an asset at a lower price than the purchase price.
Why do the mutual funds distribute capital gains?
When a mutual fund realizes more gains than losses, mutual funds are generally required by law to distribute the net gains to shareholders by calendar year end. These distributions, which typically occur quarterly, semi-annually or annually, are made in order to satisfy such requirements.
It is important to note that these distributions are taxable to shareholders, unless the mutual funds are held in a 401(k) plan, IRA, 403(b) account or other tax deferred account Investors in tax deferred products will not have tax consequences as a result of these distributions. Also, distributions are specifically exempt from taxes such as income from municipal bond funds being exempt from Federal taxes.
What is the difference between short-term and long-term capital gains?
Short-term capital gains: These gains result from the sale of an investment held less than a year. A distribution of short-term gains by a mutual fund is taxed as ordinary income. Long-term capital gains: These gains result from the sale of an investment held more than a year. A distribution of long-term gains by a mutual fund is taxed at the investor's capital gains tax rate.
When are taxes paid on capital gains distributions?
Investors are required to include these amounts on their federal income tax return for the year when they are received.
What is "buying a dividend"?
"Buying a dividend" refers to purchasing a mutual fund just prior to a distribution by that fund. It is not advisable for an investor to purchase a mutual fund that will be held in a taxable account immediately prior to a distribution. A portion of the investment will be returned to the investor as a taxable distribution. The investor will incur a tax liability on a distribution without any benefit.
What is a cost basis?
A mutual fund's cost basis is the cost of fund shares (determined by various means) used to help a shareholders calculate the taxable gain/loss of their investment in the event of any fund share redemption. For BlackRock funds held at the transfer agent, this information is included in our Quarterly Statements when available.
Where can I learn more about dividend dates and distribution amounts for BlackRock funds?
To learn more about dividend dates and distributions amounts, click here. For fund specific distributions, visit our mutual funds homepage and then select a fund to review its profile and view its distributions.
If distributions are reinvested, are they still subject to taxes?
Yes, it is the shareholder's responsibility to pay taxes on the income and gains distributed by a mutual fund even if a shareholder decides to reinvest his distribution into the mutual fund for more shares.
Does BlackRock try to limit capital gain distributions?
BlackRock manages BlackRock mutual funds consistent with their investment objectives. Though we are mindful of the tax implication of capital gains on our shareholders, investment decisions take into account other factors as well and are based upon prudent portfolio management in accordance with each fund's investment strategy.
What is the difference between record date, ex-date and payable date?
The Record Date refers to the shareholders of "record" on this date who are entitled to the distribution.
The Ex-date is the next date after record date on which the net asset value (NAV) drops by the amount of the distribution.
The Payable Date is the date that payments are sent to shareholders that do not reinvest their distributions. Those shareholders who reinvest their distributions receive additional shares.
If a mutual fund's NAV has fallen this year, how does it distribute a capital gain?
Even if a mutual fund's NAV has fallen during the year, it is still possible that securities sold by the mutual fund within the year resulted in a capital gain. For example, a security bought three years ago at $10 that appreciated and was sold this year at $20 will realize a $10 capital gain.
Why does a mutual fund's NAV drop when a distribution is paid?
When profits from sales of securities exceed losses, they accumulate and contribute to the rise of the net asset value (NAV) of the fund. Since a portion of the NAV is being deducted and distributed to the shareholders, the NAV will drop by the distribution amount. For example, a fund's shares sell at an NAV of $10. If sales of the fund's securities have realized a profit of $2 a share during the year, a capital gain distribution of $2 will be deducted from the NAV on a specified date – and on that date the fund share price will decline to $8.
This drop in NAV does not reflect a loss since the portion deducted from NAV is passed through to shareholders. Distributions do not impact a mutual fund's total return as they are taken into account as part of a fund performance.
Please keep in mind that the NAV will also reflect market activity.
When is a Form 1099 sent to shareholders?
A Form 1099-DIV is sent to shareholders by investment fund companies to provide a record of all taxable capital gains and dividends paid, including those that have been re-invested in a given taxation year. Tax Form 1099-B will also be sent if you have redeemed shares from your BlackRock mutual fund. Form 1099-INT is sent to you if you have receive dividend distributions on municipal bond funds.
How are distributions recorded on forms 1099-DIV?
Mutual fund companies report dividends and short-term and long-term capital gains separately on Form 1099-DIV for the year when received. These amounts are reported to the IRS for tax purposes. Investors use Form 1099-DIV to help report income received from investments on their tax return each year.
Who do I contact if I have not received a 1099?
The IRS does not require tax reporting on any taxable amounts less than $10 for a calendar year. If you did not have a taxable event during the year over $10 and did not receive your 1099, you can contact BlackRock shareholder services at 800-441-7762 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday.
Where can I find more information on BlackRock Funds?
For more information on BlackRock Funds, please contact BlackRock shareholder services at 800-441-7762.
You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of any fund carefully before investing. The funds' prospectuses and, if available, the summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and are available, along with information on other BlackRock funds by calling 800-882-0052. The prospectus and, if available, the summary prospectuses should be read carefully before investing.
The information on this web site is intended for U.S. residents only. The information provided does not constitute a solicitation of an offer to buy, or an offer to sell securities in any jurisdiction to any person to whom it is not lawful to make such an offer.
The information that has been provided is not intended to serve as tax or investment advice. Each investor's tax and investment considerations may be different. BlackRock does not provide tax advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.
Past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor's shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost.
The funds are not insured by the FDIC and are not deposits of, or guaranteed by, any bank. The funds are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal amount invested.