It was announced in April that Google would have a 2-for-1 stock split. This is an easy transaction to enter. Unfortunately, the details were a bit different. The split was being paid with a new stock class. This made the “split” actually a spinoff.
To make matters more complex, Google changed the ticker symbol of the old shares before the spinoff and used the old GOOG symbol for the new Class C shares. The best way to enter this was to change the old GOOG shares to GOOGL for the Class A shares and then enter a spinoff of GOOG from GOOGL.
Investors often can find the information regarding stock splits and other company stock actions at the company sites. They’re generally good at posting relevant information about transactions or providing links to the information.
If cost-basis changes are part of the transaction, a copy of Internal Revenue Service Form 8937 may be posted. This form can be quite helpful.
For SEC filings, many companies have search capabilities on their sites. To narrow your search, try the following topics that are often available in a drop-down menu: proxy statements, acquisitions and registration statements. If these search topics aren’t available, look for SEC Form S-4 or S-4/A in the list of filings. This is helpful especially for mergers or transactions requiring registration of new securities. These are often dated just before the original announcement of the transaction.
How the transaction is entered depends on the tax treatment. Details of this are in the section labeled Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations. There may be two sections with this label. One in all caps appearing later in the SEC filing provides more details for individual shareholders.