As a mutual-fund shareholder, you may receive several types of distributions, such as ordinary dividends, capital gain distributions, exempt-interest dividends, and return of capital distributions. The rules for reporting the different types of distributions are discussed in this chapter.
The tax law provides different methods of identifying the particular shares being sold when you sell a portion of your mutual fund holdings and of determining the cost basis of those shares. You may be able to use these methods to obtain a preferred tax result on the sale.
You may buy a tax liability if you invest in a mutual fund that has already realized significant capital gains during the year. For example, if a fund is about to make a year-end capital gain distribution and you invest shortly before that, you will in effect have to pay tax on the return of your recently invested money.
You will be eligible to receive a forthcoming dividend or capital gain distribution if you are a shareholder of record on the “record date” ...