Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys – Exchange options are a relative unknown in the retail currency world. Although some brokers offer this alternative to spot trading, many do not. Unfortunately, this means that investors are losing out.

FX options can be a great way to diversify and even hedge an investor’s spot position. Or, they can also be used to speculate on long or short term market views rather than trading in the currency spot market.

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

Structuring the trade in currency options is actually very similar to what is done in equity options. Leaving complicated models and math aside, let’s take a look at some basic FX options setups that are used by both novice and experienced traders.

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Basic options strategies always start with plain vanilla options. This strategy is the easiest and simplest trade, with the trader buying an outright call or put option in order to express a directional view of the exchange rate.

Placing a direct or uncovered option position is one of the easiest strategies when it comes to FX options.

AUD/USD chart showing a double top which is ideal for a put option. Image by Sabrina Jiang ©  2020

Looking at the chart above, we can see resistance formed just below the key exchange rate of 1.0200 AUD/USD in early February 2011. We confirm this with the double top technical formation. This is a good time for a put option. An FX trader looking to spread the Australian dollar against the US dollar simply buys a plain vanilla put option like the one below:

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The profit potential for this trade is infinite. But in this case, the trade should be set to exit at 0.9950—the next major support barrier for a maximum profit of 250 pips.

In addition to trading a plain vanilla option, an FX trader can also create a spread trade. Preferred by traders, spread trades are a bit more complicated but get easier with practice.

The first of these spread businesses is the debt spread, also known as a bull call or bear put. Here, the trader is confident of the direction of the exchange rate, but wants to play it a bit safer (with a bit less risk).

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

In the chart below, we see a support level of 81.65 emerging in the USD/JPY exchange rate in early March 2011.

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This is a perfect opportunity to place a bull call range because the price level will likely find some support and go up. Implementing a bull call debit spread would look something like this:

If the USD/JPY currency exchange rate crosses 82.50, the trade has a profit of 52 pips (100 pips – 48 pips (net debit) = 52 pips)

The premium through the spread while maintaining a trading direction. This strategy is sometimes called a bull put or bear call spread.

With support at 81.65 and a bullish view of the US dollar against the Japanese yen, a trader can implement a bull put strategy in order to capture any upside potential in the currency pair. So, the trade is broken down like this:

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As anyone can see, it is a great strategy to implement when a trader is bullish in a bearish market. Not only is the trader gaining from the option premium, but he is also avoiding the use of any real cash to implement it.

So, what if the trader is neutral against the currency, but expects a short-term change in volatility? Similar to comparable equity options, currency traders will construct an option straddle strategy. These are great trades for the FX portfolio to catch a potential breakout move or lulled break in the exchange rate.

The straddle is a bit simpler to set up compared to a credit or debit spread trade. In a straddle, the trader knows that a breakout is imminent, but the direction is not clear. In this case, it is better to buy both a call and a put in order to catch the breakout.

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

USD/JPY volatility in February 2011 creates an ideal straddle opportunity. Image by Sabrina Jiang ©  2020

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Seen above, the USD/JPY exchange rate dropped to just below 82.00 in February and remained in a 50-pip range for the next couple of sessions. Will the spot rate continue lower? Or is this consolidation coming before a move higher? Since we don’t know, the best bet would be to apply a straddle similar to the one below:

It is very important that the strike price and expiration are the same. If they are different, this can increase the cost of trading and reduce the probability of a profitable setup.

The potential profit is infinite – similar to the vanilla option. The difference is that one of the options will expire worthless, while the other can be traded for a profit. In our example, the put option expires worthless (-45 pips), while our call option increases in value as the spot rate rises to just under 83.50 – giving us a net profit of 55 pips (150 pips profit – 95 pips option premiums = 55 pips).

Foreign exchange options are a great instrument for trading and investing in them. Not only can an investor use a simple vanilla call or put for hedging, they can also refer to speculative range trades when they catch the direction of the market. However you use them, currency options are another versatile tool for forex traders.

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Yes, forex trading income tax exists in India. But the way it works is relatively different from what you experience in equity trading. However, there are three factors you need to know before we jump into forex taxes.

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

First, f&o income can be treated as business income or income from other sources. Many forex traders are known to declare their earnings as business income. Later, you will see that this move has merit.

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Second, consignment trading is simply not allowed for currency pairs in India. All forex trading is cash settled – profits and losses are in INR.

This may come as a surprise to those who are expecting a bag of USD or EUR to be delivered to their doorstep or demat account. Third, the trading of currency pairs in India is possible only through exchange-traded derivatives.

What we are going to reveal next can be confusing, but it becomes clear when you understand that it is what the definition and laws dictate.

Even if the derivatives are speculative, income from trading derivatives can be classified as “non-speculative” business income. This rule extends to futures and options for currency pairs.

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Now that you know that there are currency trading taxes in India, it’s time to move on to the actual type of forex taxes and the rate of taxation that is applicable on various tax slabs.

There are two types of taxes that a forex trader must pay to the government. The first is direct tax which is nothing but the income tax rate applicable as per your I-T slab. The following table contains all the tax slabs in India:

That said, GST on foreign exchange derivatives trading is known to vary. There are three slabs that have been created to ensure that the GST on earnings from forex trading transactions is easy to understand, process and execute.

Tax Planning In Forex Trading In The U.s.: Guidance From Tennessee Attorneys

There are other GST charges on foreign exchange derivatives. There is a fee to be paid to the exchanges which is Rs. 1.10 per lakh for currency futures and Rs. 40 per lakh on premium for currency options.

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You may also have to pay a clearing members fee, which is Rs. 0.25 per lakh for currency futures and Rs. 7.5 per lakh for currency options. Likewise, you will have to pay stamp duty as well but this depends on the state where you are.

Not to forget, there is even a fee in the form of the Investor Protection Fund (IPF) which is 0.000050% for futures and 0.0020 for options. Additionally, there are ways to offset tax when trading currency f&o.

For example, losses incurred on a non-speculative business can be offset by income from a speculative business or any other income that does not include salary income.

Forex trading income

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