TradeLog vs GainsKeeper

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 19, 2021

TradeLog and GainsKeeper are trader tax software programs. They’re simple to use and take the guesswork out of generating IRS-ready tax forms required to comply with federal regulations. 

You can also leverage the tools offered by these programs to help avoid common trader tax mistakes. Compare the capabilities of TradeLog and GainsKeeper now.

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  • active traders
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What is TradeLog?

TradeLog is a software program that simplifies tax reporting for active traders and investors. There’s also a pro version that caters to wealth managers, tax preparers and accountants. 

You can manage your trade history in a single file without getting overwhelmed, generate forms needed for tax filing in real-time, accurately report wash sales and conduct mark to market accounting. TradeLog also makes it easy to execute otherwise challenging tax adjustments and offers tools to complete trade journaling and performance analysis. 

If you’re interested in test driving the program, a free trial is available. Plus, technical support is standing by to help you get started. 

TradeLog Features and Benefits

TradeLog and TradeLog Pro include these key features for active traders, investors, wealth managers, tax preparers and accountants: 

  • Trade history data from multiple brokerage accounts condensed into a single file 
  • IRS broker reporting, including Form 8949 for IRS Schedule D 
  • IRS form 1099-B reconciliation
  • Accurate wash sale reporting to avoid negative tax consequences 
  • Mark to market accounting for active traders with the 475(f) status, traders with 1256 contracts and traders in futures 
  • Tax adjustment functions to simplify accounting for corporate actions, matching and options 
  • Trade journaling and performance analysis tools to help you level up your trading game 
  • Extensive technical support 
  • Flexible pricing (determined by the number of trade records)

Ready to give the software a try? You can register for a 30-day free trial. Once the trial period lapses, annual subscriptions are available for: 

  • $89 (200 trade records)
  • $139 (600 trade records) 
  • $199 (1,500 trade records)
  • $329 (unlimited trade records) 

If TradeLog Pro is a better fit, you can try it out for 30 days and continue with the service for just $399 per year. An additional annual TaxFiles fee of $75 also applies for each client or taxpayer. 

What is GainsKeeper?

GainsKeeper is an award-winning software program that offers tax accounting solutions to active traders, brokerage funds and individual investor communities. As a subscriber, you will get the support you need to compute, monitor and report cost basis that accounts for corporate actions. There are also tools included in the platform to ensure you handle wash sales for 1099 tax reporting properly.

GainsKeeper Features and Benefits
The GainsKeeper suite of solutions affords individual investors and brokerages the following benefits: 

  • Track and optimize portfolios to maximize after-tax returns
  • Pre-trade analysis tools 
  • Automated adjustments for corporate actions 
  • Simplified wash sale processing 
  • Generate Schedule D, Income/Loss Form 4797 and other applicable forms for tax filing
  • Export data to most tax preparation software to simplify the filing process 
  • Create gain/loss reports in real-time
  • Brokerage account aggregation 

You can learn more about pricing by requesting more information using the form provided on the website. 

What to Look for in Trading Platforms and Software

Here are some factors to be mindful of when evaluating trading platforms or software, even if it’s not used exclusively for tax purposes. 

Lower Fees

Online platforms allow you to execute trades and avoid the fees brick-and-mortar brokerages assess. Plus, you can jump online and make trades in real-time instead of waiting around for an appointment and hoping marketing conditions are favorable when the broker gets around to initiating the trade.

Ease of Use

You can get started with a trading platform or software without being a tech whiz or expert. Customer support is usually available to assist you with your questions or concerns, and some platforms offer resources that demonstrate how to effectively initiate trades. 

Better Information for Better Decisions

Be sure to take advantage of the information and tools provided by the trading platform or software you’re considering. If you aren’t quite sure which resources are available to you, reach out to the customer support team to inquire. Some tools can be very beneficial and help you gauge if a trade is a worthwhile investment or poses an elevated risk. 

Track Online Investments in Real-Time 

It’s pertinent that the trading platform or software lets you track your investments in real-time. You can also monitor overall market conditions to determine if you should invest more or sell off your current share to prevent steep losses. 

Take Care On Investing Too Much Money Very Quickly

Some platforms allow you to set limits on how much you can invest in a specified period. This helps prevent emotional trading, which could lead to massive losses if you’re inexperienced and are acting out of impulse. 

Your Internet Can Affect Your Online Tradings

Don’t forget about the impact your internet can have on future trades. If the platform is working correctly but your connection is slow, you could miss out on potential gains assuming the transaction isn’t confirmed. You also risk investing more than you intended to if the system times out and you initiate the trade again without realizing that the first transaction was successfully processed. 

TradeLog and GainsKeeper Alternatives

If you prefer to explore additional options before selecting a trader tax software program, these alternatives are worth considering: 

Do you engage in additional income-generating activities outside of trading? Take a look at this list of the best tax software for self-employed individuals. 

Get Started with a Trader Tax Software Program

It’s worthwhile to invest in a software program if you’re an active trader or own a brokerage. They have tools in place to help you navigate challenging transactions and ensure you’re preparing the appropriate forms for the IRS.

TradeLog and GainsKeeper are both viable options that you should consider if you want to maximize your investment, make more informed investment decisions and steer clear of issues with the IRS.