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I have two different personal accounts. One on Robinhood and one with Webull. I have many shares of a stock in Robinhood that I am trying to hold for a year or more before I sell. At the same time I am adding shares of the same stock on Web Bull.

If I've held all of the shares held in Robinhood for more than a year but I've held the same stock for less than a year in Webull how would that work out for taxes?

Would it be the 15 or 20% for long term gains on Robinhood shares that I own or will I have to sell some at the standard rate because I've held the same company in a different account.

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    Which account are you selling from? I'd suggest selling from the account where you held them longer – JohnFx Feb 26 at 17:25
  • am I right to assume you mean "but if I sell all of the shares held in Robinhood" – Joe Feb 26 at 17:45
  • Tax questions need a jurisdiction. Are you in the uS? – Vicky Feb 26 at 18:38
  • I'm in the U.S. I was planning on selling some out of the account I've held them the longest. An answer below says it really doesn't matter which account I sell them out of and that I'll be taxed based on the last purchase date of that same stock. True? – Dan the Hoosier Man Feb 26 at 19:22
  • Yes, I meant selling all of the shares in Robinhood which I will have held for more than a year but at the same time holding shares in Webull which I've purchased within a year. – Dan the Hoosier Man Feb 26 at 19:24
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If I've held all of the shares held in Robinhood for more than a year but I've held the same stock for less than a year in Webull how would that work out for taxes?

If you sell the shares you own in Robinhood, you'll have a long-term capital gain/loss from sale of those shares. If you sell the shares you own in Webull you'll have a short-term capital gain/loss from sale of those shares. If you sold all shares from both accounts nothing above changes, you'd have both long and short-term gains/losses to report.

If all the shares were in one account, and you sold only the number that you've held for more than a year, you'd have a long-term capital gain/loss from sale of those shares. That's because by default brokers will sell your oldest shares first (FIFO - first in, first out).

With some brokers you can elect which shares to sell if you don't want them to sell your oldest shares. Having multiple accounts doesn't affect your tax rate, it does make it easier to pick which shares to sell in a case like yours where the brokers don't support deviating from FIFO.

Be mindful of wash-sale rules when using multiple accounts, your brokers don't know what you are doing in other accounts so it will be on you to correctly report everything. Here's a decent introduction to wash sale rules.

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If you sell shares that you held for less than a year, it's a short term capital gain and is taxed at regular rates. If you sell shares that you held for more than a year, it's a long term capital gain and is taxed at the lower rate. If you sell some of each, then the ones you held less than a year are taxed at the higher rate and the ones taht you held more than a year are taxed at the lower rate. Whether you hold the shares through one brokerage or two doesn't change this.

I had one time that I bought some stock, a year later bought more stock in the same company, and then less than a year later sold it all. So I had to pay the higher rate on the stock I'd bought last and I paid the lower rate on the stock I'd bought first. There's no problem reporting this on your taxes. The IRS is not confused by two line items for shares in the same company with two different purchase dates. They'll likely have a different basis too. This happens all the time.

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  • Thank you for the answer. I was hoping that having them in separate accounts would change the tax rate. My wife will have to start buying them going forward! ha. – Dan the Hoosier Man Feb 26 at 19:21
  • This answer seems to be accurate, but it's also confusingly written and doesn't seem to answer the question. The question is what would happen if Dan sold the stock in the Robinhood account, and I think the implied question is whether or not the IRS considers the stock in the Robinhood account to be different stock from the stock in the Webull account. Your post doesn't clearly answer that implied question. – Tanner Swett Feb 27 at 16:20
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    ... But all that would be true whether you bought through two different brokerages or bought through the same brokerage on two different dates. The brokerage doesn't matter. What matters is the date of the purchase, the purchase price, the date of the sale, and the sale price. – Jay Feb 27 at 16:35
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    The IRS will see the date purchased as ... the date purchased. The IRS doesn't say, "Oh, you bought this from Robinhood so that must be a long term capital gain but this one is from Webull so that's a short term capital gain." They just look at the purchase date and the sale date, regardless of which brokerage it is, and whether it's one brokerage or two. – Jay Feb 27 at 16:36
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    @DantheHoosierMan: on a joint return having transactions done by spouse won't change anything at all; on separate returns if spouse has less or no earned income (e.g. no job) the investments will on average be taxed a little less, but the loss of many other benefits means your total tax will usually increase substantially -- this is called cutting off your nose to spite your face. – dave_thompson_085 Feb 28 at 10:03

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