Day Trader Rules and Tax Treatment
Day trading is neither illegal nor unethical, but it can be highly risky. Most individual investors do not have the wealth, time, or temperament to make money or sustain the losses that day trading can bring. Day trading in securities is governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulation T. Different rules apply for day traders for tax purposes than for SEC governance.
Are You Keeping Track of Your Investment Basis?
In taxes, there is a saying: “Those who keep records win.” If you are an investor, you may own real property or have a variety of securities, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. When you sell the real property or those securities, undoubtedly, you’ll want to minimize your gains or maximize your losses for tax purposes. Gain or loss is measured from your tax basis in the investment (asset), which makes it important to keep track of the basis in all your investments.
IRS Extends the Opportunity to Defer Capital Gains
As part of tax reform put into place a couple of years ago, individuals are able to defer both short- and long-term capital gains into what are referred to as Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds (QOFs). What is nice about this is that only the actual amount of gain needs to be invested into a QOF to avoid taxes on the gain for the sale year. The gains invested in a QOF are deferred until you cash out of the QOF investment or December 31, 2026, whichever occurs first.
Defer Gains with Qualified Opportunity Funds
If you have a large capital gain from the sale of a stock, asset, or business and would like to defer that gain with the possibility of excluding some of it from taxation, you may want to check out the new investment vehicle created by tax reform, called a qualified opportunity fund (QOF).
Sign up for our newsletter.
Each month, we will send you a roundup of our latest blog content covering the tax and accounting tips & insights you need to know.