The information in this document represents our understanding of federal income tax laws and regulations, but does not constitute personal tax advice based on your specific situation. It does not purport to be complete or to describe the consequences that may apply to you given your particular taxes. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding the applicability of any state, local and foreign tax laws.
Why Is Your Cost Basis Important?
It is necessary to determine the cost basis of your Comcast shares for tax-reporting purposes when you sell or otherwise dispose of the shares. The cost basis is how much you paid for your shares after you take into account stock splits, acquisitions and other events. The difference between your cost basis and the price you receive when you sell the shares is your taxable gain or loss.
The following summary does not constitute tax advice. It does not purport to be complete or to describe the tax consequences that may apply to particular categories of shareholders. You should consult your own tax advisor regarding the calculation of your cost basis and the tax consequences of any distribution.
What You Need to Know to Calculate Your Cost Basis
To determine your cost basis, you need to know the original price paid for the shares, the date you acquired them and how you acquired them. You will need your personal records, bank or brokerage statements, inheritance or gift records or dividend reinvestment statements to help determine your cost basis. Each shareholder is responsible for determining the cost basis for his or her own Comcast shares. If you have questions, we encourage you to contact your tax advisor. No Comcast employee is authorized to give personal tax advice.
How Do Dividends Affect My Cost Basis?
Dividends do not affect your cost basis. Comcast dividends are taxable as ordinary income. Each calendar year, we are required to file with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service a list of all shareholders who received dividends. As a shareholder of record, a statement (Form 1099-DIV) will be mailed to you in October, included with your third-quarter dividend check or Dividend and Cash Investment Plan statement, indicating for tax purposes the total dividends paid to you during the year. If you hold shares through a bank or brokerage account, a Form 1099-DIV will be mailed to you by your bank or broker no later than January 31 of each year.
A stock split does not change the aggregate value of the shares you own. The split increases the number of shares outstanding, but also proportionately lowers the value of each share, so that the total value of all shares combined initially remains the same. The end result is that you own more shares, at a lower price per share, equaling the same total value.
Under U.S. federal income tax law, receipt of additional shares in a stock split will not constitute taxable income or gain. However, as described below, the cost basis in the pre-split shares must be allocated proportionally between the pre-split shares and the additional shares distributed with respect to them (including any fractional share, even though no fractional shares will actually be distributed). This apportionment is required for the purpose of determining gain or loss on subsequent disposition of any of the pre-split or additional shares, as well as determining gain or loss on receipt of cash in lieu of a fractional share.
The additional shares (including any fractional share) will be deemed to have the same holding period as the applicable pre-split shares. Cash received in lieu of a fractional share will be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as paid in exchange for that fractional share. Accordingly, gain or loss will be realized for U.S. federal income tax purposes measured by the difference between the cash received for a fractional share and the cost basis in that fractional share.
Stock Split Cost Basis Allocation
The starting point for determining cost basis depends on how shares were acquired — via purchase, inheritance, company merger, etc. Because each case is different and market prices change daily, there is no single answer for all shareholders. Each shareholder is responsible for determining the beginning cost basis for his or her own Comcast shares. Please consult your tax advisor.
As described above, in the event of a stock split, the cost basis from the pre-split shares must be allocated proportionally between the pre-split shares and the additional shares distributed with respect to them (including any fractional share, even though no fractional shares will actually be distributed). If pre-split shares were acquired on more than one occasion, this allocation must be performed separately for each block of pre-split shares. A hypothetical example is provided below.
Hypothetical Example: 3-for-2 Stock Split
In this example, 101 shares of Class A Special Common shares (CMCSK) were purchased at $30 per share, resulting in a cost basis of $3,030. A 3-for-2 stock split would result in a distribution of 50.5 shares of CMCSK. However, because no fractional shares will be distributed, only an additional 50 shares will be received, for a total of 151 shares, plus cash in lieu of the fractional share.
The original $3,030 cost basis must be allocated between the original number of CMCSK shares and the CMCSK shares distributed as a result of the stock split (including the fractional share). As a result, 66.6667% of the $3,030 cost basis will be allocated to the original CMCSK shares and the remaining 33.3333% will be allocated to the CMCSK shares distributed as a result of the stock split (including the fractional share).
|101 shares of CMCSK||Original Cost Basis||x||Allocation Ratio||=||New Cost Basis||÷||Number of Shares||=||New Per Share Cost Basis|
|50.5 shares of CMCSK||Original Cost Basis||x||Allocation Ratio||=||New Cost Basis||÷||Number of Shares||=||New Per Share Cost Basis|
|New shares (3:2 split):||$3,030||x||0.333333||=||$1,010||÷||50.5||=||$20.00|
In order to determine the tax consequences of receiving the cash in lieu of the fractional share, the new per share tax basis must be prorated to that fractional share. In this case, the one half share (fractional share) would have been allocated half of the new per share cost basis, or $10 (i.e., 0.5 x $20 = $10). If the price of a single share of CMCSK on the record date was $45, $15 in cash would be received as cash in lieu of that fractional share (i.e., .333333 x $45 = $15). Because the cost basis in that fractional share was $10, $5 of capital gain will be realized (assuming the CMCSK shares are held as capital assets), the excess of the cash received for the fractional share over that fractional share's cost basis. Because the post-split shares (including any fractional shares) are deemed to have the same holding period as the applicable pre-split shares, the $5 of capital gain from the fractional share would be long-term capital gain if the applicable pre-split shares had been held by the shareholder for more than a year on the record date.
On November 18, 2002, Comcast Corporation and AT&T Corp. combined Comcast and AT&T's broadband business. The acquisition occurred in several steps. First, AT&T Corp. contributed its broadband business to a newly formed holding company, AT&T Broadband Corp. Next, AT&T Broadband Corp. was spun off from AT&T Corp. Finally, old Comcast and AT&T Broadband Corp. combined to form the new Comcast Corporation.
If you have sold or sell any of your shares of new Comcast common stock, you need to determine your cost basis in order to compute the tax gain or loss on the shares. Your cost basis is compared to the sale price of the stock to determine the gain or loss. This cost basis may also be important for gift or estate tax purposes.
AT&T Acquisition: How to calculate your cost basis
As a result of the acquisition, AT&T Corp. shareholders of record as of the close of business on November 15, 2002 received 0.3235 shares of new Comcast Class A common stock for each share of AT&T Corp. common stock owned of record at such time. Note that the new Comcast Class A common stock was issued to you as additional shares and not in substitution for the AT&T Corp. common stock you owned. You will continue to own these shares of AT&T Corp. common stock until you sell or otherwise transfer them. If the total number of shares of new Comcast Class A common stock you were entitled to receive included a fractional share, you are entitled to receive a cash payment instead of that fractional share. Fractional shares of new Comcast common stock were aggregated and sold, with the net proceeds paid as appropriate to those entitled to a fractional share.
Your AT&T Corp. common stock cost basis prior to the acquisition should be allocated at 37.4% to your AT&T Corp. common stock and 62.6% to your new Comcast common stock, including any fractional shares you were entitled to receive. You are responsible for knowing your beginning cost basis from your own records. The example below is designed to help you compute your new cost basis in AT&T Corp. common stock and new Comcast common stock.
Hypothetical Example: AT&T Acquisition Cost Basis Calculation
For example, assume that immediately before the acquisition, you owned 102 shares of AT&T Corp. common stock and had a total cost basis in those shares of $100.00. The new Comcast exchange ratio for AT&T Corp. shareowners was effectively 0.3235 shares of new Comcast Class A common stock for each AT&T Corp. share owned of record on November 15, 2002. Thus, you would receive 32 shares of new Comcast Class A common stock and would be entitled to receive an additional 0.997 of a share but would be paid cash in lieu of that fractional share. Using the tax allocation percentages described above, 37.4% of the $100.00 would be allocated to your 102 AT&T Corp. shares and 62.6% of the $100.00 would be allocated to your 32.997 new Comcast shares. This means that the per share basis in each share of new Comcast Class A common stock would be $1.90. The cost basis of a fractional share is a proportional part of the cost basis of a whole share. In this example, the cost basis in the 0.997 of a share would be $1.89.
|Company||Cost Basis||x||Allocation Ratio||=||New Cost Basis||÷||No. of New Comcast Shares||=||New Per Share Cost Basis|
|Example||New Comcast||$ 100.00||x||0.626||=||$62.60||÷||32.997||=||$1.90|
|Your Calculation||New Comcast||$||x||0.626||=||÷||=||$|
|* The tax basis of fractional shares would be a proportional part of the basis of a whole share.|
|Company||Cost Basis||x||Allocation Ratio||=||New Cost Basis||÷||No. of AT&T Corp. Shares||=||New Per Share Cost Basis|
|Example||AT&T Corp.||$ 100.00||x||0.374||=||$37.40||÷||102||=||$0.37|
|Your Calculation||AT&T Corp.||$||x||0.374||=||÷||=||$|
Holders of Comcast
The cost basis of your new Comcast stock is the equivalent of the cost basis for your pre-acquisition Comcast Class A common stock or Comcast Class A Special common stock, as the case may be. As such, you must determine when and at what price you acquired your old Comcast stock to determine the basis for your new Comcast shares. Please visit our Historical Stock Price Lookup page.
Direct shareholders can contact our transfer agent, Wells Fargo Shareowner Services, to have questions answered or to make account updates. If you're an indirect shareholder, please contact your broker with questions about your investment.
Contact our transfer agent by phone:
Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
Outside the US: 651-554-3873
Send written correspondence to
our transfer agent:
Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
P.O. Box 64874
St. Paul, MN 55164-0874
Contact Investor Relations:
One Comcast Center
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by calling toll-free: 866-281-2100