Seeking practical advice about wash sales

I know what IRS Pub 550 says about wash sales, but it just is not practical, IMHO.
For the most part, my potential wash sales arise when my quarterly asset allocation adjustments might cause sales for losses within +/-30 days of reinvested dividends in mutual funds, which are automatic and for which I use the average basis.
My brokerage accounts for wash sales in mutual funds in the same account, but not for the same security across accounts.  And of course, there is the potential for wash sales of the same security held in multiple brokerages.
Ostensibly, that leaves me with having to track the wash sales impact with my own records.
Is that really what people do?!
(What good are "covered security", if that's the case?)
Or do you ignore the wash sales effects, hoping that you never get audited, which is realistic, IMHO?
(I'm between tax preparers at the moment, so I have nowhere else to go to ask.)
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Reply to
joeu2004.5

If wash sales are causing you a problem that you would prefer to avoid, I would recommend against the AUTOMATIC reinvestment of dividends. Instead, accumulate such dividends in a money market account (to earn some yield in the meantime) and then reinvest via your quarterly rebalancing.
I always advised clients pursuing something other than a very long term buy-n-hold strategy to NOT automatically reinvest.
MTW
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Reply to
MTW

There was a time when brokers did not track your basis, and reporting wasn't as strict. Today, when it comes to wash sales, I'd suggest that ignoring this can result in a mismatch of your tax return and the broker's data. IRS may ignore de minimis amounts, say sub $10, but it's a risk not worth taking. You never know if "while they're looking" at the return, they'll decide to question more.
I agree, if you are having this happen frequently, best to time things differently, or avoid dividend reinvestment altogether.
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Reply to
JoeTaxpayer

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