Are options trading losses tax deductible?

Options can be sold to another investor, exercised by buying or selling shares, or left to expire without exercising. Losses on options transactions can be a tax deduction. Both long and short options for the purpose of pure option positions receive similar tax treatments. Gains and losses are calculated when positions are closed or when they expire without being exercised.

In the case of call or put deeds, all options that expire without exercising are considered short-term gains. Below is an example that covers some basic scenarios. Your loss on options when you don't exercise stock options is the amount of the premium plus any transaction fees. But keep in mind that if you're doing more complex option transactions, such as spreads or butterflies, the IRS may consider those transactions as “straddle contracts,” meaning they could be taxed differently (see below for more details).

When you trade options, losses will occur when you cannot profitably exercise the options (use it to buy or sell the underlying shares) before the expiry date of the options. If your option matures, you have obviously suffered a loss of capital, usually in the short term, because you held the option for a year or less. With a closing transaction, your financial obligation under the option you issued is offset by the purchase of an equivalent option. If you exercise a call option by purchasing shares from the author at the designated price, add the cost of the option to the price paid for the shares.

Incentive Stock Option: After exercising an ISO, you must receive from your employer a Form 3921, Exercising an Incentive Stock Option under Section 422 (b). TradeLog also allows users to define additional values as broad-based index options in the Global Options settings. For example, options in SPX, OEX and NDX are not directly or indirectly related to a specific share (shares), but are instead exchange-traded options of indexed shares. When you exercise call options, the premium paid for the option is included in the cost base of the stock purchase.

The same applies if shares of the underlying are acquired while holding the put option before the option expiration date, regardless of how long the put option was held before the stock purchase. The premium you receive for selling or shorting an option is not taxable until the option expires, is exercised, offset or marked in the market. You now have an obligation to buy (under the put option you wrote) and a countervailing right (under the put option you bought). For individual investors who are dabbling in publicly traded stock options for the first time, you need to know how these securities are taxed.

Multi-tranche online option orders, such as spreads, straddles, combinations, and launches, are charged by contract fee for the total number of option contracts.