With the tax man breathing down his neck, Ohio farmer Tony Rohrs is scrambling to figure out how much money he made last year in an account at MF Global.
Thousands of former clients of the failed brokerage, including farmers, cattle ranchers and investors, have not yet received tax forms that detail their profits and losses, preventing them from preparing accurate returns for the Internal Revenue Service ahead of a rapidly approaching deadline.
"I'm running out of time," said Rohrs, who faces a March 1 filing deadline like many farmers.
The collapse of MF Global, which had a large group of agricultural clients, has produced one financial frustration after another for former customers who still have not been fully reimbursed for hundreds of millions of dollars that were frozen in their accounts as a result of the firm's October 31 bankruptcy.
A trustee overseeing the bankruptcy frustrated customers by returning portions of the frozen funds in staggered amounts during the past three months and requiring them to fill out claim forms to get their own money back.
The delayed tax forms add insult to injury for many as the lack of data means some people may have to pay taxes on profits they did not really make while being unable to write off money they may never see again.
The tax forms, known as 1099s, are normally delivered around the beginning of February.
However, the trustee, James Giddens, has pushed back the deadline for mailing the forms as he investigates an estimated $1.6 billion shortfall in accounts of customers of the brokerage. He has said the firm's use of customer funds to cover corporate transactions led to the massive shortfall.
The latest delay came on Wednesday as Giddens applied for permission to send out one variety of the 1099 form 30 days after the February 15 deadline. He previously applied to extend by 30 days the deadline for a batch of different 1099 forms that were due out by January 31.
MF Global, run by former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, collapsed after making risky bets on European sovereign debt. Customers' accounts were subsequently transferred to a handful of other brokerages in November.
Rohrs has received 1099 forms for each of his two MF Global accounts, which were transferred to brokerage R.J. O'Brien. However, one 1099 reflected only losses he incurred following the transfer in November, leaving out gains earned during the first 10 months of the year.
Rohrs, who plants corn, soybeans and wheat, said he would use his own financial records to make his best estimate of how much money he made.