Magazine article American Banker

Fund Firms Have Been Offering More Tax Help

Magazine article American Banker

Fund Firms Have Been Offering More Tax Help

Article excerpt

Tax time may have been a bit easier for many mutual fund investors this year.

A number of fund companies have beefed up the support they offer to customers, providing them with more tips for preparin their tax returns.

By Phone and Booklet

Many mutual fund companies have toll-free telephone numbers for customers with tax questions to call. About a dozen companies are also authoring their own mini-guides of tax tips.

To the surprise of some industry observers, many no-load companies, which are typically considered more thrifty, are printing such booklets.

But in general, not many firms have tax guides, according to Kathleen Whalen, market research manager at Dalbar Financial Services, a Boston firm that rates fund companies' tax preparation materials.

T. Rowe Price, Vanguard Group Inc., Invesco Funds Group Inc., Strong/Corneliuson Capital Mangement, and Scudder, Stevens & Clark Inc. were among the no-load companies that provided tax preparation guides this year.

Companies that charge sales fees, such as Stein, Roe & Farnham, Putnam Investments, and Keystone Funds distributed booklets too. And another Boston company, Fidelity Investments, which provides its products on a load and no-load basis, has also created a tax help booklet.

Dalbar gave high marks to Putnam and first-time guide provider Invesco as having created this year's best all-around tax booklets. Boston-based Keystone also recieved kudos from the mutual fund industry tracking firm.

First Timer

Scudder distributed a tax guide for the first time this year. …

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