How Long Do You Have To Own a Stock To Avoid Capital Gains
How long do you have to own a stock to avoid capital gains? You probably thought you were safe. Not anymore.
I'll give you an example. Let's say you buy a stock for $10 and it goes up to $20.
Most traders would sell the stock and move on. Your profit would be $5.
But what if the stock went down to $10? Would you still sell it and take a $5 loss? You probably would.
The problem is you are also reducing your capital gains tax rate.
In practice, it means that you would never sell a stock that goes down, even if it goes down substantially.
You are in danger of a capital gains tax increase.
Now you can use the “wash sale” loophole.
As long as the stock is in a line of business that has no bearing on the market and has been held for over a year, you can claim it as a loss. Your capital gains tax would then be zero.
The trade-off is you will never get the money back. You could still face a tax increase for a sale that you can never get back.
How Long Do You Have To Own a Stock To Avoid Capital Gains
You will pay taxes on a loss even after you have paid taxes on a profit. This is a very tricky situation. You could be right and pay taxes on a loss, but that same loss could be carried forward and charged back to future trades, making future losses greater.
Trading Stocks in a Down Market
This is what I have seen in practice. When stock prices fall dramatically, traders begin to sell the stock as quickly as possible in order to get out with the least amount of tax impact.
This creates what is called a “wash sale”. Awash sale is a sale that is zeroed out as a result of the taxpayer having paid taxes on a profit. However, any capital losses created will still be carried forward and chargeback to future trades.
This results in continued losses and additional taxes.
The IRS Has Offered Some Guidance On This In Recent Years
* If you are a long-term investor who has made a profit and sold stock in the last year, the loss will be treated as a wash sale. However, if you sold the stock for a loss, the loss will be treated as a short-term loss.
* If you are in the 1031 Exchange, your stock will be treated as a short-term loss for tax reporting purposes and not a long-term loss. However, the loss will be carried forward and charged back to future trades.
In practice, it works like this. Say you bought a stock for $10, your loss is $5. However, your short-term loss is treated as a long-term loss.
Therefore, we subtract $5 from $10 and reach $5 short term. We now sell the stock for $10. Assuming no capital gain or long-term loss, the capital loss is $5, so we now make a $5 loss on the sale of the stock and amortize the $5 loss over the next year.
The $5 loss at the end of the year will be charged back to future trades, leaving the stock at $8.
What Happens To The Stock If You Sell It Short Term
We sell the stock short-term and deduct our long-term loss. The long-term loss will be charged back against the purchase price, leaving the stock at $10.
What Happens To The Stock If We Sell It Long-Term
The long-term loss is a wash sale, not a long-term gain. The long-term loss is charged to the future trade, leaving the stock at $10. However, we deduct the long-term gain, which is a long-term loss. The stock is then $10. After the year, we sell the stock for $10.
How Does That Relate To Carrying Cost
Carrying cost is the expense of owning the stock. C.O.P.E. is the cost averaging of purchases and sales. We buy once, and sell again, paying the same amount each time.
We buy at lower prices each time, but the cost of the stock is $10, so we deduct $10 each time.
The two strategies are similar but different. The difference is in when the money is charged back, carrying cost. If we sell a stock, we deduct our long-term gain, which is a carryback.
The gain is charged back to future trades, leaving the stock at $10. When we buy back the same stock, we don't charge back the gain, because it is our own gain that is being carried forward, not the gain of another trade.
We carry the other stock to $11.
It is interesting that if you take stock and then sell it, you can take a carryforward.
As long as you sell at or above the support of the last trade, carry the full value of the stock forward in your account so that when you buy it you can deduct your carry forward from the cost of the stock.
This is a good strategy to ensure a profit each time you trade.
In the example above, when I bought the stock, I bought at $70, then sold at or above the support of $75.
The carrying cost is $5, meaning that I only pay $5 for the trade. However, the stock went up after I sold it, so now I pay $10. I can then deduct $5 from my next trade.
This strategy allows you to pick your spots and chargeback the carry cost if you find that the stock has gone lower than you had expected.
If You Only Bought One Stock, It Would Look Like This:
Carrier Option Dividends: Cost = $60 = $10 carry forward = $60 total cost.
Buying in the option is a bit different than the normal option strategy. If you only buy the option, you pay for it immediately as you are buying something that is already owned. However, the options are a bit cheaper, so the cost per option can be substantial.
If you are using the carry forward, you will pay $10 for the stock, however, the carry forward will be $5. This means that the cost is $5 divided by 2, resulting in $5.
Carrier Option + Carry Forward: Total cost = $60 = $10 carry forward + $5 option = $55. This is equal to the cost of the stock.
Carrier Option + Carry Forward + Option: Total cost = $60 = $10 carry forward + $5 option + $5 carry forward = $60. This is greater than the cost of the stock, so the option premium must be deducted.
In summary, the carry forward premium is the cost of the option plus the carry forward of the stock. If the stock goes up, the carry forward is less the cost of the stock. In the example above, the carry forward is $5, so the option premium is $5.
However, when you buy the option, you are buying that that is already owned and so there is no carry forward. If you buy a $10 stock, the cost of the stock will be $20.
When you buy the option, you are buying that of an already owned stock, so there is no option premium.