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I read in a question here advice on how not to be labelled as a day trader. I trade quite often, but not as much to be labelled as a day trader based on what I read, but I'd still like to know what would be the consequences for me if I were labelled a day trader.

  • It depends on your jurisdiction. Some places it matters more than others. What country are you in? – Chris W. Rea Feb 12 '15 at 3:15
  • @ChrisW.Rea - I'm from Australia. I edited that into my question now. Thanks. – Mark Gabriel Feb 12 '15 at 3:19
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In Australia the ATO can determine if you are considered a shareholder or a share trader.

The ATO defines a shareholder as:

A shareholder is a person who holds shares for the purpose of earning income from dividends and similar receipts.

Whilst they define a share trader as:

A share trader is a person who carries out business activities for the purpose of earning income from buying and selling shares.

To find out the differences between them you can refer to the following link describing The difference between a share trader and a shareholder.

The ATO also describes:

To be classed as a share trader, you may be asked to provide evidence that demonstrates you are carrying on a business of share trading, for example:

  • the purchase of shares on a regular basis through a regular or routine method

  • a trading plan

  • use of share trading techniques in managing your share acquisitions, such as decisions based on thorough analysis of relevant market information

  • a contingency plan in the event of a major shift in the market.

Losses incurred in the business of share trading are treated the same as any other losses from business.

If your activities change from investor to trader, your investment changes from a CGT (capital gains tax) asset to trading stock. This can trigger CGT event for any investments you currently hold as they change from CGT assets to trading stock.

Once you have changed over to a trader you will not be entitled to the 50% CGT discount for stocks held over 12 months. You will, however, be able to count any paper losses at the end of Financial Year to reduce your other income.

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