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Understanding the tax implications of Contracts for Difference (CFD) trading is crucial for financial planning and compliance. Tax obligations can significantly impact trading gains and overall economic outcomes. Knowledge of tax regulations ensures traders can accurately calculate their tax liabilities, avoid penalties for non-compliance, and optimize tax efficiency. 

Moreover, awareness of tax implications based on their jurisdiction allows traders to make informed decisions regarding trading strategies, risk management, and portfolio allocation. 

Let’s take a look at the different tax implications in various jurisdictions.


Are CFDs taxable?

Yes, CFDs are taxable if the trader, as an individual, has realized a capital gain on a CFD that exceeds the capital gains tax (CGT) allowance set by the government of the jurisdiction where the trading has occurred. The individual is obligated to file a Self-Assessment tax return.

  • In Australia, individuals who hold an asset for 12 months or longer are eligible for a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) discount of 50%.
  • In the UK, if there is a sole trader or part of a partnership and their gains qualify for Business Asset Disposal Relief (formerly known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief), they may be eligible for a reduced tax rate of 10% on their capital gains.
  • Individuals in Canada are taxed on only 50% of their capital gains, with a cap of $250,000 per year.
  • In France, all gains earned by the security sale incur a flat-rate levy set at 30%. This levy consists of income tax at 8% and social security contributions at 20%.
  • A flat tax rate of 25% applies to capital gains in Germany, with an additional 5.5% solidarity surcharge.

However, if the gain arises from CFD trading conducted by the limited company, Corporation Tax will be applicable, which again, differs in each jurisdiction (such as 38% in Canada, 15% in Germany, 25% in Australia, and more).


How are CFDs taxed?

CFDs are taxed differently in different countries.

United Kingdom

CFDs are subject to different tax regulations in the UK. While they do not incur stamp duty, gains from CFD trading are liable for CGT, the rate of which is determined by income. Basic rate taxpayers face a 10% tax rate in the UK, whereas higher rate taxpayers are subject to a 20% tax rate.

For individuals for whom day trading CFDs constitute a secondary income, the first £1000 of gain is tax-free. The tax percentage applied thereafter depends on annual income. 


In Australia, CFDs are consistently treated as revenue items, not capital assets. While gains from CFDs are assessed under section 15-15 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997), they are also accessible under section 6-5 of the same act, with any gain considered assessable on a revenue basis.

For individuals trading CFDs without meeting the criteria for a business, their activity is categorized as a gain-making venture. Gains and losses are then assessed on a revenue basis, with interest paid on margin loans for CFD trading being deductible.

Similarly, if CFD trading is conducted as a business, gains and losses are assessed on a revenue basis. The trader would report CFD trading as a business activity, eligible for deductions like any other business. Deductions for expenses, including interest on loans for CFD trading, are generally allowable.

Determining whether CFD trading constitutes a business involves assessing factors such as trading volume and business-like conduct. While a high volume of trading transactions is usually indicative of a business, around 10 CFD trades per annum would be considered insufficient for business classification, likely qualifying as a gain-making venture instead.


Tax residents of France who generate gains from trading securities such as CFDs are required to pay taxes on these capital gains. However, certain capital gains may be exempt under specific conditions, such as those covered by an equity savings plan (PEA) or employee savings plans like PEE and PERCO.

Taxable capital gains are calculated as the difference between the sale price and the purchase price of CFDs.

Capital gains from share sales are subject to a flat-rate levy known as the PFU (Prélèvement Forfaitaire Unique) or set at 30% as discussed above. An alternative option is available to apply the sliding income tax scale for the entire household, with varying rates depending on the holding period: a 50% allowance for holdings held between 2 to 8 years and a 65% allowance for holdings exceeding 8 years.

Taxable capital gains are combined with other income on the tax return and are subject to the sliding income tax scale. Additionally, social security contributions at a rate of 17.2% must be paid on the capital gains earned before any allowance is applied.

Reporting capital gains each year is mandatory when filing the tax return. This reporting includes using form 2074 and the income tax return form 2042.


File taxes for CFD gains in 2023-2024 

Traders must be aware of tax regulations in their respective countries, as requirements vary. Different forms may need to be filled out depending on jurisdiction, such as Self-Assessment tax returns in the UK or Form NAT 2541 in Australia. Understanding tax implications enables traders to accurately report CFD gains or losses, calculate tax liabilities, and fulfill obligations to tax authorities. Compliance ensures the avoidance of penalties and maintains financial integrity. 


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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