Forex Trading Taxes [Comprehensive 2022 Guide] – Rating42 | Jewelry Dukan

The first things that come to mind when talking about forex trading are the gains and potential losses, as many associate this practice mainly with its short-term benefits. However, one thing that all investors need to be aware of when entering the market is Forex trading taxes.

This article covers the basics of foreign exchange taxes and explains them best way to file taxes received through forex trading. We will also provide information on how to track your trading practices and mention some key factors for traders to keep in mind.

The Basics of Forex Trading Taxes

As we know, the primary goal of all traders in the forex stock markets is to make successful trades and grow their accounts. However, before investors take the first step, they should be aware of this tax implications of the foreign exchange market.

Forex is traded in two ways, either as Cash Forex on the unregulated interbank market falling under IRC section 988 or as forward currency contracts on the regulated foreign exchange markets falling under IRC section 1256.

Filing taxes on forex trading under the former or the latter has its pros and cons based on your losses and gains and your particular tax bracket. However, before we go into more detail, we should mention Foreign exchange taxes are subject to a 60/40 tax balancemeaning that 60% of losses and gains are treated as long-term, while 40% are treated as short-term capital losses or gains.

Section 1256 Contracts

If you trade futures currencies, your taxes fall under the Section 1256. In this case, investors are taxed at 60% of the long-term capital gains or losses at a fixed rate of 15%. This type of foreign exchange taxation is usually favorable for investors in the high income tax brackets (22% bracket or higher).

Stock traders’ proceeds that sell within a year of their purchase are treated as short-term profits, and they are always tat the same rate as the merchant’s ordinary income. These make up the remaining 40% and their tax is enough 10% to 37%.

Section 998 Contracts

If an investor submits its income under this section, it will be treated as ordinary income and taxed at a rate between 0% to 37%. The amount a forex trader pays depends on their particular class. It is important to note that if a trader’s only source of income is forex trading and their annual income is not above that $12,400, you are not required to pay taxes on this amount.

Additionally, choosing to file your spot forex trading taxes in this section can be a great benefit if you are experiencing net losses throughout the year, as all losses are counted as ordinary losses, unlike the 1256 contract.

DID YOU KNOW: You can learn more about how the forex trading market works by following economic data, credit ratings, news reports, interest rate guidelines, and supply and demand trends.

How to Avoid Taxes When Trading Forex

Before we proceed to discuss which contract may be a better option for investors, to avoid confusion, we should mention that futures traders count as 1256 contracts, while over-the-counter (OTC) investors count as 988 contracts.

When it comes to forex trading and taxes, many investors think they can get away with not paying taxes once they learn that over-the-counter trading isn’t registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, these traders should be aware that the IRS will eventually catch up, and the tax avoidance fees are bound to be much higher than the tax itself.

The choice between a 1256 or a 988 contract

Another thing traders should keep in mind is that they have to make choices which contract to use before the first day of the calendar year. Furthermore, we have to mention that 988 contracts are much simpler compared to 1256 contracts and their tax rate remains constant on both profits and losses, making them a better option for traders who suffer losses more often.

On the other hand, if we consider how forex is taxed on 1256 contracts, while more complex, it may represent a better option for net gain investors as it offers 12% more savings in such a scenario.

As a rule of thumb, most brokerage firms prefer this offer futures traders 1256 contracts and spot traders 988 contracts. It is always advisable to consult an accountant before deciding on an investment account as de-registering from an account can be a complicated process.

In anticipation of net profits, many traders choose to reject their 988 status and switch to a 1256 contract. The trader must note the change in his books and submit it to his accountant. Ultimately, the choice of forex trading taxes that you are willing to bear depends on your individual circumstances.

DID YOU KNOW: If you’re wondering if investing is a good idea, remember that it’s recommended for financially stable individuals who already have double the amount they want to spend.

Here’s how to keep track of your performance

Keeping track of your performance is vital to any practice and this is also true for forex trading and taxes. Although your brokerage account gives you a general view of your trading activity, your Proof of performance can give you a more detailed account your profits and losses.

Here is the record formula approved by the IRS:

  1. First, subtract your opening wealth from your final assets.
  2. Then, withdraw the cash deposits to your accounts and add the withdrawals.
  3. Next, deduct your income from interest and add interest paid.
  4. involve others trade-related expenses.

This performance recording formula can provide traders with an accurate representation of their profit/loss ratio, making the final tax return easier.

Things to consider when paying taxes when trading forex

Some of the things related to forex tax treatment that can make the process less difficult for traders are:

Whether you are just starting out in the Forex market or are a seasoned trader, you should remember that all traders are must select their tax situation type before January 1st.

Correct records can save you a lot of time and worry during taxpayer season. Because you spend less time creating taxes, you have more time to trade during that time.

As we mentioned earlier, if you think you can get away with not paying taxes related to over-the-counter trading, it can easily backfire. In order to avoid paying penalties for the taxes owed, it is imperative that you do so pay your taxes on time.

The central theses

subject to foreign exchange taxes 60/40 tax consideration.
Prospective forex traders are taxed under section 1256, while over-the-counter traders are taxed under section 988.
Although OTC trading is not registered with the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), There is no way to avoid taxes on forex trading.
The IRS-approved recording formula can provide traders with an accurate description of their profit/loss ratio.
traders are required to select a type of tax situation before January 1st.

Is forex trading worth it?

Now that we’ve discussed how forex trading taxes work in the US, it’s worth mentioning others as well Factors affecting the trading experience. Although there is no set amount of how much income forex trading can bring you, it is widely considered to be a lucrative practice as your win rate largely depends on your chosen trading strategy and risk management.

What traders should also note is that day trading investors tend to have higher expenses as they often need access to quality investment vehicles in order to trade profitably. Although this increases your chances of winning, forex day trading taxes are not as favorable as long-term investing.

In some cases, day traders can apply for special day trader tax treatment offered by the IRS, which can reduce, but also detract from, the tax impact Net profits subject to self-employment tax. All in all, there is no easy right or wrong answer as to whether forex trading is a profitable practice as it depends on the decisions how much a trader makes.


It goes without saying that not paying your taxes on time can cause you a lot of headaches. As we have already mentioned, looking for ways to avoid taxes when trading forex is pointless, which is why Understanding the tax process is crucial for all investors. When a trader is aware of the pros and cons of using a 1256 or 988 contract, they can make a decision that is consistent with their trading practices.

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