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Navigating tax obligations as a forex trader can be complex, especially with evolving regulations and market dynamics. It is crucial to have a strong understanding of tax requirements to ensure compliance and maximize returns.

This guide is tailored to assist forex traders in preparing their taxes for the fiscal year 2024/25, providing essential insights and actionable steps.


Understanding 2024 tax obligations for forex traders 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

If forex trading is considered a form of investment, any gains made from trading foreign currencies may be subject to CGT. Under CGT rules, traders are taxed on the net capital gains during the tax year. Capital gains are calculated by subtracting the cost base (purchase price) of assets sold from the sale proceeds. Traders may be eligible for CGT discounts or exemptions if they hold the assets for a certain period.

For example, 

  • In Canada, capital gains tax applies to profits, and only 50 percent of the gain is taxed (inclusion rate).
  • Unit trusts are exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) and taxes on foreign sourced income (FSI) in Malaysia. 
  • In France, Capital gains from share sales incur a flat-rate levy (PFU) of 30%, which includes income tax at 8% and social security contributions at 20%.
  • Individuals holding forex gains for over 12 months in Australia qualify for a 50% capital gains tax (CGT) discount. 

Ordinary Income Tax

If forex trading is deemed a business or speculative activity rather than an investment. In that case, gains may be treated as ordinary or business income and taxed at the individual’s marginal tax rate. This applies if trading is conducted frequently, with significant time and effort dedicated to it, indicating that it is more akin to running a business.

Traders may also consider other tax obligations, such as Goods and Services Tax (GST) on brokerage fees and services related to forex trading.

For example, 

  • In Australia, long-term gains/losses on forex held for 12+ months receive a 50% exclusion, resulting in a top effective tax rate of 23.25% due to the top income tax rate of 46.5%.
  • In Canada, forex traders are often classified as business owners, with 100% of profits taxed as business income at 0%-45% (based on the individual’s current tax rate).
  • In France, traders are taxed 100% on profits based on the total income earned during the financial year at a percentage of 0% to 45%.
  • In Malaysia, residents are taxed on their forex trading income at progressive rates ranging from 0-30%., while non-residents are subject to a flat tax rate of 30% on their forex trading income.


Documents and records needed to file for taxes 

Forex traders must maintain comprehensive records to accurately report their income and deductions when filing taxes. Here are the key documents and records needed:

Transaction records: Maintain thorough records of all forex trades, noting dates, times, currency pairs, volumes, prices, and any fees incurred, including trade orders, confirmations, and receipts.

Profit and loss statements: Maintain records of the trading gains and losses. This includes calculating each trade’s net gain or loss and cumulative gains or losses over the tax year.

Brokerage statements: Obtain statements from the forex broker detailing account activity, including deposits, withdrawals, trades executed, and account balances.

Bank statements: Retain bank statements reflecting deposits, withdrawals, and transfers linked to forex trading to reconcile gains and losses with account transactions.

Expense receipts: Keep receipts for all expenses related to forex trading, like brokerage fees, platform subscriptions, internet costs, and trading software. These expenses might be deductible from trading income.

Tax identification number: Ensure one has a Tax File Number (TFN) issued by the authorized taxation office. It is necessary to report trading income and lodge the tax return.

Previous tax returns: Keep copies of previous tax returns and assessment notices for reference and comparison when preparing current tax returns.


How can forex traders file for taxes in 2024-25

1. Determine tax status

Traders should assess whether their forex trading activity is classified as capital gains or business income for tax purposes. This classification will determine how trading gains are taxed.

2. Gather necessary documents

Traders should collect all relevant documents, including transaction records, brokerage statements, bank statements, expense receipts, and previous tax returns.

3. Organize transactions

Traders should organize trading transactions chronologically, ensuring that all trades are accurately recorded and documented.

4. Calculate gains and losses

Traders need to calculate net gains or losses from forex trading by subtracting total losses from total gains, considering any brokerage fees, commissions, or other trading expenses.

5. Consider tax deductions

Traders should identify any tax deductions they may be eligible for, such as trading-related expenses or capital losses carried forward from previous years.

6. Fill out the necessary forms

Traders are responsible for completing the necessary tax forms, such as the IRS form, required by the respective tax authority to report forex trading income. This includes individual tax return forms and supplementary schedules or statements, typically due by a specified deadline.

7. Report income

Traders should accurately report forex trading income on their tax return, ensuring that all income is properly disclosed and categorized according to the taxation authority’s guidelines.

8. File tax return

Traders must submit their completed tax return to the authority by the deadline. 

9. Pay taxes owed

If taxes are owed on forex trading gains, traders should ensure timely payments to the authority to avoid penalties or interest charges.

10. Keep records

Traders should retain copies of all tax-related documents and records for at least five years, per most authority requirements. This includes transaction records, tax returns, assessment notices, and correspondence with the taxation authority.


Navigate forex tax obligations with confidence

Forex traders must file their taxes on time for seamless processing. Filing taxes according to the law allows traders to avoid potential legal repercussions, including criminal charges, which can arise from tax evasion or non-compliance. By maintaining transparent and accountable financial practices, traders also mitigate the risk of audits and investigations by tax authorities, preserving their reputation and credibility in the market.

Conversely, failing to file taxes in accordance with the law poses significant risks and dangers to traders. Foremost among these risks is the possibility of severe legal consequences, including hefty fines, penalties, and even imprisonment for tax evasion or fraud.

Proper classification, thorough documentation, accurate calculations, deduction exploration, timely filing, and payment are crucial for compliance. Seeking professional guidance ensures smooth tax preparation and adherence to regulations.


Disclaimer: All material published on our website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered personal advice or recommendation. As margin FX/CFDs are highly leveraged products, your gains and losses are magnified, and you could lose substantially more than your initial deposit. Investing in margin FX/CFDs does not give you any entitlements or rights to the underlying assets (e.g. the right to receive dividend payments). CFDs carry a high risk of investment loss.

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