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Who here is an Australian user of the app? What’s your opinion on the app and the cards associated with it? New user here and just wondering how everyone in Australia rates this service over the rest of the available apps
ATO Australian tax treatment for options trades 🇦🇺
I am posting this as I hope it will help other Australian options traders trading in US options with their tax treatment for ATO (Australian Tax Office) purposes. The ATO provides very little guidance on tax treatment for options trading and I had to do a lot of digging to get to this point. I welcome any feedback on this post.
The Deloitte Report from 2011
My initial research led me to this comprehensive Deloitte report from 2011 which is hosted on the ASX website. I've been through this document about 20 times and although it's a great report to understand how different scenarios apply, it's still really hard to find out what's changed since 2011. I am mainly relating myself to the scenario of being an individual and non-sole trader (no business set up) for my trading. I think this will apply to many others here too. According to that document, there isn't much guidance on what happens when you're an options premium seller and close positions before they expire. Note that the ATO sometimes uses the term "ETO" (Exchange Traded Option) to discuss what we're talking about here with options trading. Also note: The ATO discusses the separate Capital Gains Tax ("CGT") events that occur in each scenario in some of their documents. A CGT event will then determine what tax treatment gets applied if you don't know much about capital gains in Australia.
ATO Request for Advice
Since the Deloitte report didn't answer my questions, I eventually ended up contacting the ATO with a request for advice and tried to explain my scenario: I'm an Australian resident for tax purposes,I'm trading with tastyworks in $USD, I'm primarily a premium seller and I don't have it set up with any business/company/trust etc. In effect, I have a rough idea that I'm looking at capital gains tax but I wanted to fully understand how it worked. Initially the ATO respondent didn't understand what I was talking about when I said that I was selling a position first and buying it to close. According to the laws, there is no example of this given anywhere because it is always assumed in ATO examples that you buy a position and sell it. Why? I have no idea. I sent a follow up request with even more detail to the ATO. I think (hope) they understood what I meant now after explaining what an options premium seller is!
First, I have to consider translating my $USD to Australian dollars. How do we treat that? FX Translation If the premium from selling the options contract is received in $USD, do I convert it to $AUD on that day it is received? ATO response:
Subsection 960-50(6), Item 5 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) states the amount should be translated at the time of the transaction or event for the purposes of the Capital Gains Tax provisions. For the purpose of granting an option to an entity, the time of the event is when you grant the option (subsection 104-20(2) ITAA 1997).
This is a very detailed response which even refers to the level of which section in the law it is coming from. I now know that I need to translate my trades from $USD to $AUD according to the RBA's translation rates for every single trade. But what about gains or losses on translation? There is one major rule that overrides FX gains and losses after digging deeper. The ATO has a "$250k balance election". This will probably apply to a lot of people trading in balances below $250k a lot of the FX rules don't apply. It states:
However, the $250,000 balance election broadly enables you to disregard certain foreign currency gains and losses on certain foreign currency denominated bank accounts and credit card accounts (called qualifying forex accounts) with balances below a specified limit.
Therefore, I'm all good disregarding FX gains and losses! I just need to ensure I translate my trades on the day they occurred. It's a bit of extra admin to do unfortunately, but it is what it is.
This is the scenario where we SELL a position first, collect premium, and close the position by making an opposite BUY order. Selling a naked PUT, for example. What happens when you open the position? ATO Response:
The option is grantedCGT event D2 happens when a taxpayer grants an option. The time of the event is when the option is granted. The capital gain or loss arising is the difference between the capital proceeds and the expenditure incurred to grant the option.
This seems straight forward. We collect premium and record a capital gain. What happens when you close the position? ATO Response:
Closing out an optionThe establishment of an ETO contract is referred to as opening a position (ASX Explanatory Booklet 'Understanding Options Trading'). A person who writes (sells) a call or put option may close out their position by taking (buying) an identical call or put option in the same series. This is referred to as the close-out of an option or the closing-out of an opening position. CGT event C2 happens when a taxpayer's ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends. Paragraph 104-25(1)(a) of the ITAA 1997 provides that ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends by cancellation, surrender, or release or similar means. CGT event C2 therefore happens to a taxpayer when their position under an ETO is closed out where the close-out results in the cancellation, release or discharge of the ETO. Under subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997 you make a capital gain from CGT event C2 if the capital proceeds from the ending are more than the assets cost base. You make a capital loss if those capital proceeds are less than the assets reduced cost base. Both CGT events (being D2 upon granting the option and C2 upon adopting the close out position) must be accounted for if applicable to a situation.
My take on this is that the BUY position that cancels out your SELL position will most often simply realise a capital loss (the entire portion of your BUY position). In effect, it 'cancels out' your original premium sold, but it's not recorded that way, it's recorded as two separate CGT events - your capital gain from CGT event D2 (SELL position), then, your capital loss from CGT event C2 (BUY position) is also recorded.In effect, they net each other out, but you don't record them as a 'netted out' number-you record them separately. From what I understand, if you were trading as a sole tradecompany then you would record them as a netted out capital gain or loss, because the trades would be classified as trading stock but not in our case here as an individual person trading options. The example I've written below should hopefully make that clearer. EXAMPLE: Trade on 1 July 2020: Open position
SELL -1 SPY 85 PUT, exp 30 August 2020
Collect Premium USD$1 per unit, and brokerage USD$5
= USD$100 premium collected, minus USD$5
= Net amount of USD$95 collected
FX Translation rate on the date of the trade: AUD $1.00 = $USD 0.70
Net Premium Collected in $AUD
= USD$95 x (1/.7)
CGT Event D2 triggered and a capital gain of $135.71 is recorded
Trade on 15 July 2020: Close position
BUY 1 SPY 85 PUT, exp 30 August 2020
Pay Premium $0.50 per unit, and brokerage $5
= $50 premium paid, plus $5
= Net amount of USD$55 paid
FX Translation rate on the date of the trade: AUD $1.00 = $USD 0.60
Net Premium Collected in $AUD
= USD$55 x (1/.6)
CGT Event C2 triggered and a capital loss of $91.66 is recorded
We can see from this simple example that even though you made a gain on those trades, you still have to record the transactions separately, as first a gain, then as a loss. Note that it is not just a matter of netting off the value of the net profit collected and converting the profit to $AUD because the exchange rate will be different on the date of the opening trade and on the date of the closing trade we have to record them separately. What if you don't close the position and the options are exercised? ATO Response:
The option is granted and then the option is exercisedUnder subsection 104-40(5) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) the capital gain or loss from the CGT event D2 is disregarded if the option is exercised. Subsection 134-1(1), item 1, of the ITAA 1997 refers to the consequences for the grantor of the exercise of the option. Where the option binds the grantor to dispose of a CGT asset section 116-65 of the ITAA 1997 applies to the transaction. Subsection 116-65(2) of the ITAA 1997 provides that the capital proceeds from the grant or disposal of the shares (CGT asset) include any payment received for granting the option. The disposal of the shares is a CGT event A1 which occurs under subsection 104-10(3) of the ITAA 1997 when the contract for disposal is entered into. You would still make a capital gain at the happening of the CGT event D2 in the year the event occurs (the time the option is granted). That capital gain is disregarded when the option is exercised. Where the option is exercised in the subsequent tax year, the CGT event D2 gain is disregarded at that point. An amendment may be necessary to remove the gain previously included in taxable income for the year in which the CGT event D2 occurred.
This scenario is pretty unlikely - for me personally I never hold positions to expiration, but it is nice to know what happens with the tax treatment if it ultimately does come to that.
What about the scenario when you want to BUY some options first, then SELL that position and close it later? Buying a CALL, for example. This case is what the ATO originally thought my request was about before I clarified with them. They stated:
When you buy an ETO, you acquire an asset (the ETO) for the amount paid for it (that is, the premium) plus any additional costs such as brokerage fees and the Australian Clearing House (ACH) fee. These costs together form the cost base of the ETO (section 109-5 of the ITAA 1997). On the close out of the position, you make a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the cost base of the ETO and the amount received on its expiry or termination (subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997). The capital gain or loss is calculated on each parcel of options.
So it seems it is far easier to record debit trades for tax purposes. It is easier for the tax office to see that you open a position by buying it, and close it by selling it. And in that case you net off the total after selling it. This is very similar to a trading shares and the CGT treatment is in effect very similar (the main difference is that it is not coming under CGT event A1 because there is no asset to dispose of, like in a shares or property trade).
Other ATO Info (FYI)
The ATO also referred me to the following documents. They relate to some 'decisions' that they made from super funds but the same principles apply to individuals they said.
The ATO’s Interpretative Decision in relation to the tax treatment of premiums payable and receivable for exchange traded options can be found on the links below. Please note that the interpretative decisions below are in relation to self-managed superannuation funds but the same principles would apply in your situation [as an individual taxpayer, not as a super fund].
Key quote from this decision: CGT Event D2will apply on the writing of an ETO by the Fund. The Fund as grantor of the option will make a capital gain (or loss) of the difference between the capital proceeds (that is, the premium receivable) and the cost of granting the option (for example, brokerage fees) at the time the option is granted
My take on this is that you will realise a capital gain on issuing of the selling position. I don't see how you could realise a capital loss in that scenario? Or maybe if you sell a position and the brokerage is so high that it outweighs the premium received (a dumb trade) then that would be a capital loss (a rare scenario).
Key quote from decision: When the Fund opens a position by buying an ETO, no immediate taxation consequences arise.CGT Event C2will happen to the Fund when its position under an ETO is closed out where the close-out results in the cancellation, release or discharge of the ETO
Don't forget to declare your trades on your tax return and keep a nice spreadsheet
Keep track of the exchange rates for each day you make a trade. You could do as you go and check the RBA exchange rates website for the daily number, or just do it all at once at the end of the financial year
Finally - I recommend ensuring that you save a portion of your income to pay the capital gains tax at the end of the year so you don't have to withdraw it from your portfolio and pay exchange rate fees to convert it back to Australian dollars. It will depend on your marginal tax rate what that percentage will work out to be in the end.
Does forex conversion rate vary for brand of card within the same bank?
Is it possible for BDO to charge foreign currency expenses differently based on the brand of card used? According to the general credit card table of fees & charges “assessment rate of 1% plus service fee of 1.5% of the converted amount based on the forex rate of visa/mastercard/etc and BDO at the time of posting”, while the amex table says “a conversion factor of 2.5% will be applied to the converted amount, of which 1% is retained by amex”. Are they different or are they essentially the same thing just worded differently? Thank you.
Etoro and The bank F*&CKERY - They're both robbing you.
So im looking to invest through Etoro for the long term, Im a math freak and I create various spreadsheets to track my money, anyways to the point, I'm from the UK so the exchange is a real hassle.... not so much when depositing but when I withdraw, ill go into some numbers below. Lets say I start the year by investing £10000 and I make 50%, great right? yeah, but heres some more numbers. If I withdraw £15000 from USD to GBP ill have 13.14% of my profits slashed, my banks exchange rate is 1.4107... etorro is 1.2875 from GBP to USD, so £15000 would equate to $19312 USD, as etorro only handles USD and withdraws in USD. So with $19,312 I withdraw I lose $5 > $19,307. $19,307 Is sent to my bank and my bank converts it to GBP at a rate of 1.4107 which leaves me at £13,686. thats £1314 taken away from me. 13.14% gone. and yes you could say "just dont withdraw then" lets see another example. Deposit: £30,000 Etoro Conversion: $38,625Profit made: 50%: £45,000 Etoro Conversion: $57,937Withdrawal Free $5 --- $57932 $57932 in withdrawn, $5 fee is taken and is now on its way to the bank. Natwest handles this withdrawn money at a rate of 1.4107 so our final sum ends at £41,966.49 with a EOY return of 36.89, again we have lost 13.11%. and the banks have taken £3034 So what does this mean? this is bad news to those who are not from the US, alot of people aim for 10% profits per year only to find out that they've made nothing because of the exchange rates, I have ran the numbers multiple time and its crazy when you see the truth, why cant Etoro handle withdrawal conversions? theyre making millions from forex and CFD spreads as it is. The only solution is if Etoro withdraws your money the same way you deposit it..... EDIT: this is only the case if you withdraw your funds that aren't your bank account currency, comments below have mentioned that you can choose your withdrawal currency so this shouldn't be a issue, but take this as a lesson, above is a prime example if you choose the wrong option, the banks will penalise your profits big time.
Hi there, just want to pool some reviews if anyone had an experience with this? I verified my USD wallet (Multi-currency account) thru my payroll debit card - SecB for $20. I got credited 979.48 pesos which is surprisingly low, not that I'm mad about it. just curious because people here attest to having as high as 8% of total fees for the conversion cost? It also boggles me because SecB's USD selling rate today was 49.15 but mine was converted at 48.97. Can anyone share their experience below as well? TIA! Edit: Figured out using a mastercard currency converter that SecB didn't impose any bank fees for the forex conversion, what a time to be alive! https://imgur.com/ouItyMThttps://imgur.com/DZznMip
Is there anyway to buy the currency in your stocks, rather than converting at current rate? I just sold some nvidia today 444, USD/CAD converted back. -150$... Then I bought back some shares at the bottom, forex was bad buying too. [If I select to buy USD it's charging $50 on 10k over market price]
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Hello, From my understanding of how WST converts USD Dividend back to CAD before it reaches your account, will this have an effect in a taxable account? For example, BAM pay a USD Dividend instead of CAD, will the Forex rate of that day be required during tax time? Thanks, A potential WST customer
Most economical way of paying off student loan from overseas.
I searched through this subreddit and was surprised to see this hasn't been discussed at much length (or I am bad at searching). I am living overseas in Canada and am being charged 3.5% interest on my student loan balance so I'd like to now start paying it off ASAP. From what I can see there are a number of possible methods for paying off a student loan from overseas:
Exchange service such as Western Union or Transferwise.
Direct debit payments.
I put together a quick table summarizing my options, calculated at 07:00 EDT - 9/8/20. Some things to note:
OFX, OrbitRemit, WU and XE have an agreement with IRD where they don't charge fees for student loan repayments. Transferwise is still cheaper than WU even with fees which goes to show how overinflated the WU exchange rate is.
IRD credit card payments are not supposed to charge the 1.42% convenience fee if you are overseas. I messaged IRD to make sure it definitely would not be charged and they said that it is an error that it shows on the confirmation page and it definitely would not be charged. It was still charged. I messaged them and told them I had been charged 1.42% and they told me it was my bank (it definitely wasn't, but I can't be bothered arguing with them anymore).
I don't believe that FOREX Credit Card payments would be able to earn any sort of rewards but it may be possible to make up for the additional fees this way. It may also be worth the additional fees of using a credit card for someone in Canada or the USA to help build a credit score. For example on a $50,000 loan the difference between using a credit card and OFX (If you could get IRD not to charge the convenience fee) would be about $430 but could potentially increase your credit score significantly.
Credit Card FOREX was calculated using this. I have used a 0% bank fee as I could theoretically get a CC with 0% FOREX from my bank.
Send Amount (CAD)
Recieve Amount (NZD)
CAD Not Available
IRD Convenience fee included (1.42%)
I have a few questions:
The XE website was down, does anyone know if their rate is competitive?
Is there anything else I am missing? I'd like to get it right as I am now going to start aggressively paying down my quite sizable loan and a few percent here and there will make a big difference!
It looks like OFX is the cheapest option, does anyone have an experience with them? I may still just use Transferwise as they are only slightly more expensive (ends up being about $150 extra if I paid off my whole loan) and I have had really good experiences with them in the past.
Has anyone here used Transferwise (https://transferwise.com/) to deal with foreign currencies? I'm living in the US but frequently get wire transfers in Euros and my bank (BoA) is devouring a huge chunk off the top. My most recent transfer (received payment) was about 10k euros on 8/31 and I lost like $500 of it because it's being converted at like 1.12 when really the euusd rate hasn't been below 1.17 since early august. I called BoA to ask why this discrepancy exists and they said it's due to the rate that the sending bank gives them, which I understand, but that means I have to contact the foreign bank and deal with them which is just annoying and I know they won't change it anyway. I checked on the sending bank's site and it seems they are sending at a rate of about 1.1533 which is closer to the real rate but still about $200 lower than it should be. Looking at Transferwise it seems to imply I can create an account and for a small conversion fee, get much closer to the real forex rate which would mean an extra $300-500/month depending on the size of the payment. Has anyone used this and if it's not a good solution, how can I keep more of my money? Both sides (receiving and sending) are being shifted significantly from the actual market exchange rate (right now for example the BOA side is converting at 1.1214 for EUR -> USD and costs 1.2449 to go from USD -> EUR...The foreign sign is like 1.15 to go EUR->USD and 1.20 going the other way. Closer, but still not good. The current market rate is actually 1.1856 as we speak).
https://currencyconverterlive.com Currency conversion calculators are calculated using current market rates. Unlike any calculator, this type of calculator needs to be updated regularly. The currency conversion calculator contains most of the time between 80 and 85 currencies, showing conversions in those currencies. This type of calculator is a useful tool if you want to buy goods or services in foreign currency. This calculator will tell you how much you pay in currency. Many online merchants who have their own website add online currency converters, especially if they trade internationally. Of course, a currency conversion calculator will help a person to make transactions in more than one currency. Most transformers are designed differently. Some performance results, others appear different in the sample table. However, the logic is similar and means that a person is shown an amount equal to the second currency. These calculators allow you to enter an amount that indicates the currency, and it will ask you to select the currency you want to compare. There is usually a button labeled "Convert" or "Calculate" or something like this effect, you can click on it to get the value. This is not difficult to achieve. All you have to do is connect to the internet and use the search engine tools. Then you can simply enter the keyword "currency converter calculator" and there is a wide selection from which you can choose. There are some built-in programs on the same site, some of which can be downloaded to your computer. However, if it is a program that should be downloaded to your computer, you should have access to the Internet to regularly update prices. The currency converter calculator has tools that you can download from the Internet and update. If you like to use your mobile phone, you can have fun and easily download and install the currency conversion calculator application. If you are familiar with MS Excel and want to customize the converter, you can create a calculator from it. There are online lessons and step by step instructions on how to set up. These things make things easier for everyone. You do not need to visit the Forex trading site or sites that have current market price tables to clear the required currencies. With a currency converter, all you have to do is enter the amount, select the currency you want to compare, and click on the account. The cash equivalent will show you the amount you entered from the first currency to the second, and at the same time give you details of the amount equal to the unit of each currency.
Extons || Let's get familiar with its tools and features
crypto is well known for its volatility and unpredictable nature. Many projects show good improvement when they first launched but at the end of the campaign, they failed to deliver a promising product to its community. This is a crypto and it gave us a lot of good and useful projects. Binance doesn't become binance in one day. It takes time to build up a quality exchnage. Though crypto is a very unpredictable sector of finance still there are some qualities that we can judge to know about the project merits. Today I am going to talk about an upcoming exchange that offers so much good tools and service. The name of that exchange is Extons. For those who are already with me for quite a few days, you all must have known about my previous article about Extons. Today I am going to talk about its service, tools, and potential in the market. Then let's jump into it. https://preview.redd.it/4lcgkmj17co51.jpg?width=3319&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d5fe887e3de8a277f1559217ae2ad76fe3e9cfd8 Quick introduction: Before we jump into details about that exchange I want to give you guys a quick introduction about the exchange. Extons is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that is a part of the thisoption ecosystem. Extons offers multiple payment gateways and a wide variety of crypto trading pairs for its users. They also have some amazing programs for users that can give them an opportunity to make some passive income. Let's talk about different tab of Extons exchange and their use. Markets: The very first tab a user will see in that exchange when they log in is the market tab. By clicking this tab users will see an interface where they will see various market pair and their annual return based on their investment products. This is a very basic and common tab that every other exchange has. Trade: In this tab, the user will see the 3 subcategory tab. They are accordingly Basic, Classic, Advanced. Basic one offers the simplest way of trading. The user just needs to select the coin he wants to convert and the coin he wants to receive in return. The conversion rate will be in the current market price and current market price details will be shown right below. In classic trading, users will get old charts and tools but in advanced trade, users will get the most advanced tools and charts for trading. Finance: In this tab, there are two options available for the user. One is saving and another is staking. Both of them give users a chance to make some passive income by putting their assets into saving program or staking program. The saving program is pretty unique in the Extons platform. Ecosystem: In this tab, there are 5 components. At first, came white paper. In this project whitepaper, users will be able to know about project details, roadmap, and other project related information. By clicking the Binary option tab it will redirect users to another website called thisoption where users can take a part in options trading. It is also a product of the Thisoption company. By clicking the Forex trading tab user will be able to see the Thisoption company's forex trading website. Forex is also a form of trading where cryptocurrency and fiat currency can be traded with each other. https://preview.redd.it/p43fb2797co51.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=eebc0c39fd27e0001d6a55f34ae975df4f48f4f0 The payment gateway tab will take the user to a page where they will be able to use different payment options offered by the Extons platform. There are traditional and crypto payments system. The communication portal will help traders to keep in touch with other traders in the extons community. They can talk and share with each other will news, trading experience, and opinion. More: This tab contains News and support. Users can contact support for any help or know about project developments. Fund: In the fund's tab users will be able to know about their overall portfolio and they can deposit or withdraw their funds from this tab. Also, users will be able to check their deposit and withdraw history from here. Orders: In the orders, tab users can check their current order status and old order history. They will be able to cancel their current order or modify them as they can. My savings: In this tab users can see the currently active saving packages they are in. They can join different saving packages based on their portfolio. Also, they can check their income form their savings packages. I.B Program: In this tab users will be able to check their invitation record and their commission from their referrals. Also, they can find their referral link here that they can share with others to get more referrals commissions. Profile tab: In this tab, users will get to know about their profile information, security settings, and Address management. They can change their profile information, profile security, and also be able to change their withdrawal address for a different cryptocurrency. Also, they can log out from the platform by clicking log out from this tab. Wrap up: Extons doing a massive bounty program for their community. They are super active in social media and keep updating their community about new listing and partnership. I am very impressed with the project and its dedication.
I'm confused about how to calculate CGT for foreign shares. Assume that I:
Exchange some AUD into USD.
A few days later, purchase some US shares using the USD.
At some point in the future, sell the shares and receive the USD proceeds.
A few days after that, convert the USD into AUD.
What values do I use for calculating CGT? I can think of at least two approaches:
Use the ATO's published forex rates for the purchase & sale dates of the shares.
Or, use the actual AUD amounts that went out of and into my Australian bank account.
The second option seems more logical to me, as it more accurately reflects the exchange rate I got and the actual profit I made. It also seems to be the approach suggested by this ATO page, but maybe I'm misunderstanding it? Also, is CGT the only thing I need to worry about? Or do other forex taxation rules also come into the picture? Thanks for any help :)
Hi, I have about 10k USD sitting in an account in HSBC. What is the best way to go if I want to convert the full amount to AUD? Do I get HSBC to convert? or take it out and go to forex? any Idea? because the fixed term for USD rate in HSBC is really crap, currently 0.8% and will reduce to 0.1% for 12 months. any help? THanks
Hi There, I have a small business that requires me to make moderately large annual purchases from my US supplier in USD. In the past, I've been paying for consignments in USD by converting at the spot rate at the time of purchase. I would like to hedge against some from the crazy forex swings in as cheaply a way as possible. Can anyone point me towards good value USD accounts in Australia? Alternatively, ways to hedge forex transactions that don't cost an arm and a leg?
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