Q. I have been trying to fill out Schedule D, but the instructions keep referring to Form 8949. I only have a couple of stock sales, why are they forcing me to use these forms, when all I want to do is plug in the figures and be finished with it?
A. Your goal is exactly what my goal is, but regrettable, the IRS has different ideas. Although I can't tell you the exact reason, I suspect it has something (perhaps everything) to do with brokerage firm reporting requirements Have you noticed that Form 8949 refer to the boxes the brokerage firms are putting on the 1099-B forms?
If you're using software, you will have no choice but to fill out the 8949 forms to get them to transfer to Schedule D. Reporting sales of assets used to be somewhat straight forward, but now it has become a real challenge. Good luck in your endeavor!