Last week I had mentioned that Vanguard ETFs had slightly different tax considerations than most other ETFs due to their unique structure (they are actually a separate share class of Vanguard index mutual funds.) Larry MacDonald from Canadian Business Magazine has added some more information to the mix in his most recent blog post. He even provides a short side by side comparison of the capital gains distributions of a traditional ETF and the Vanguard commensurate ETF. The differences are quite large in some cases/years.
There were also some follow up questions on my original blog post, the answers to which may be of interest to other readers so I’m including it here for your reference. A reader had asked if there was any way to figure out the unrealized capital gains liability that has accrued in any one Vanguard ETF. And there is. The answer can be sourced directly from Vanguard’s website. Just click on the fund in question, then select the “Distributions” tab and you’ll find a line that says “Unrealized appreciation/depreciation”. Right below that is the amount as a percentage of the NAV. For example, for VWO (which is a share class of VEIEX, the index mutual fund) here is the link.