Let's say I open a vertical option spread for a $100 credit. The stock prices moves how I thought it would, but quicker than I expected, so I close the position early for a $30 debit. I have a net credit of $70. Just for clarity:

+100 opened
- 30 closed
+ 70 net profit

When filing US federal taxes on this income, am I taxed on the $70 net credit or on the $100 initial credit?

  • 1
    You are not taxed on open positions in securities. You realize a capital gain or loss when you close a position. Commented Aug 31, 2020 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


In the US, you are taxed on net income, so the $30 "expense" would offset the $100 "income" and you'd be taxed on the net $70. If you reverse the transactions, buy the spread for $30 and sell it for $100, your "cost basis" would be $30 and you'd be taxed on the $70 of income.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .