Capital Gains Advice

David T. sunfish62 at
Fri Jan 28 00:10:49 EST 2011

Having spent a good while just now trying to (re) grok the concept of capital gains and how to account for them in Gnucash, I am wondering whether anyone has better instructions than those found in the Guide at 8.1. 

As I see it, the descriptions included in the guide are overly simplistic, and don't address some fundamental points:

1) Is there a simple and principled way to calculate cost basis in Gnucash? I spent a while figuring out my cost per share, and then trying to figure out how to get that reflected in the register. I only had one or two share transactions to consider; I shudder to imagine trying to figure out cost basis on (say) a mutual fund account that has reinvested dividends over the years at different prices and in minute fractional shares, and then selling a major chunk at a later date... The simple example included in the guide glosses over this significant question!

2) Commissions need to be discussed in the guide and included in the example, since (as I, a Non-Accountant understand it) commissions affect one's cost basis in a stock. I believe that I got this right, but I don't know for sure...

Clarification and edification are welcome. If I can get my mind around all this, I will try to recommend some changes to the docs.



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