I have a call option that will expire as worthless in January but I'd like to sell it now and realize the loss this year to lower this year's capital gains taxes.

I would be happy to dump it at $0.00 but I'm not sure if that is possible.

Is it possible to sell now somehow at $0.00 or perhaps I have another equivalent alternative?


The market maker will always take it off your hands. Just enter a market sell order. It will cost you a commission to pull the loss into this year. But that's it.

  • I just tried selling it at 0 and the order just sat there. Any suggestions? – Jonathan Nov 28 '14 at 18:27
  • 1
    Don't use a limit order, just "sell at market." – JTP - Apologise to Monica Nov 28 '14 at 18:49
  • I am optionshouse and selling at market returns an error that price can't be $0.00. I spoke with customer support and they say there is nothing to do. Perhaps you have a suggestion how to book the loss this year? – Jonathan Dec 26 '14 at 15:55
  • i just tried this with no luck. i placed a market sell order for some worthless put options and the order never filled. it was a day order at interactive brokers and i specified cboe2 instead of smart routing. – james turner Dec 24 '18 at 16:05

Sounds like an illiquid option, if there are actually some bidders, market makers, then sell the option at market price (market sell order). If there are not market makers then place a really low limit sell order so that you can sit at the ask in the order book. A lot of time there is off-book liquidity, so there may be a party looking for buy liquidity.

You can also exercise the option to book the loss (immediately selling the shares when they get delivered to you), if this is an American style option. But if the option is worthless then it is probably significantly underwater, and you'd end up losing a lot more as you'd buy the stock at the strike price but only be able to sell at its current market value. The loss could also be increased further if there are even MORE liquidity issues in the stock.

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