I own a stock (purchased on June 3, 2019) that I plan to sell once it becomes a long-term holding. I expected that to happen tomorrow (June 3, 2020) or later, so I was surprised when I looked at my position in Fidelity account this morning and saw that it is already listed as having a long holding period.

Is this because even if I were to sell it today, the sale wouldn't actually close until June 3 or later?

Update: Or on second thought, is it just because this is a leap year and I forgot to take February 29th into account?

1 Answer 1


The Fidelity LTCG label doesn't make sense. The holding period for a long term capital gain is a year and a day. Furthermore, if the holding period spans February 29, it adds an extra day to the holding period.

  • 1
    Hm. On a side note, it seems ridiculous that the holding period changes when a leap year is involved, rather than being defined as a fixed number of days.
    – chepner
    Jun 2, 2020 at 14:44
  • @chepner I imagine it's to abstract away the leap day. If you purchase a security on October 15, you know it'll be considered long term after October 15 the following year without having to worry about whether there's a leap year involved.
    – glibdud
    Jun 2, 2020 at 17:35
  • @chepner - It's not ridiculous when you consider that every 4 years, a year has a different length. Whether you think it's fair that the holding period is an extra day every 4 years is another story. glibdud's abstraction is an effective and easy way to deal with it. Jun 2, 2020 at 17:49
  • Defining a long-term asset as one held for 365 days would be simpler and explicit. I haven't found any explicit definition for "year" in Title 26.
    – chepner
    Jun 2, 2020 at 17:55
  • I've seen the tax treatment of a leap year referenced at tax sites. Some reputable ones are Fairmark and Greentradertax. You might take a look there to see what's available. Jun 2, 2020 at 18:05

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