Question: I accidentally burned some stock certificates. What will the replacement of these certificates entail? (I have facimile copies .)
Answer: You can have new certificates issued by filing a request and paying a relatively small fee -- generally around 3 percent of the current value of each certificate.
This payment is called a "lost securities bond," but in reality it is nothing more than a premium for insurance to protect the issuer of the stock against loss if the missing certificate should later appear.
Since you have a copy of each certificate, you can write to the transfer agent shown on the certificate. Briefly explain that you have lost the certificate and request the necessary forms to obtain a replacement.
If you didn't have the copies, you could walk into any brokerage office and ask for help. Most brokers have a reference book that lists the transfer agent for practically every stock issued, and certainly for those listed on a major exchange.
When you get the forms, you need only identify yourself and the certificate and explain the circumstances surrounding the loss (in your case, the accidental burning).
After having your signature notarized, return the form with your check for the bond premium. Normally the transfer agent will specify the amount when he sends you the forms.
That's all there is to it. In time -- usually just a couple of weeks -- you will get the replacement certificate. Your situation points up the improtance of keeping a copy of each stock certificate, or at the very least a memo of all the pertinent information.
Incidentally, if you deal regularly or have an account with a broker, your representative there should be able to help you with the paperwork.
Q: I have some municipal bonds which I expect to hold to maturity. When the bonds are redeemed, how do I apply the IRS instructions on reporting capital gain? I don't even understand the terms used in their instructions, like "ratable amount of original issure discount ."
A: There are two basic terms you must distinguish between. "Original issue discount" has to do with the price at which the bonds were initially sold by the issuer or its underwriter.
If XYZ County sold 20-year bonds with a face value of $1,000 for $960, there was an orignial issue discount of $40. This $40 is considered part of the interest return, since the reason for an orginal issue discount is usually to "sweeten" a low coupon yield.
This $40 interest has the same characteristics as the annual interest payment. That is, it is not subject to federal income tax but may be subject to state income tax, depending on where you live.
The full amount is not earned income in the year of purchase. Instead, the "ratable portion" -- that is, the total discount divided by the years until redemption -- is considered earned each year. Thus, in the example, the ratable portion is $2 ($40 divided by 20 years) per year per $1,000 unit.
Market discount -- the alternative term -- applies if you bought the bond on the market some time after issue. To calculate the amount of market discount, you must first add together the original issue price plus the accumulated total of ratable orignal issue discount already earned by the previous owner(s).
From this figure -- which is essentially the previous owner's basis for the bond -- you then subtract what you paid. The answer is your market discount. And this the amount you must account for on Schedule D as a capital gain in the year the bond is redeemed.
I'm not sure my explanation is really clearer than that of the IRS. This is a pretty confusing tax area, easier to work out than to describe. You might need the help of a professional.
Q: I work for the federal govenment during the day. I also do some TV repair in my spare time. Am I eligible for a Keogh or IRA retirement plan ?
A: Not an IRA, since you're covered by the civil service retirement plan at your regular job. But you do qualify for a Keogh. Each year you can deposit up to 15 percent of your net earnings from self-employment, with an annual ceiling of $7,500.
In addition, you can accumulate Social Security credit for your moonlighting work (as long as you make at least $400 a year) by filing Form 1040-SE with your tax return.
Neither payment is taken into account when computing the other. That is, Social Security tax is based on net earnings before deducting Keogh payments, and the 15 percent ceiling on Keogh is calculated on net earnings without a deduction for Social Security tax paid.