Foreign currency trading

Dec 10, 2011

What sections of the ATO tax acts is foreign currency trading? That is cash base online trading with no physical goods exchange?

The tax treatment of foreign currency gains and losses is discussed in Division 775 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.  The Division effectively caters for all types of foreign currency transactions including having a foreign currency denominated bank accounts and shares, overseas rental properties, trading stock, hedging transactions as well as the purchase and subsequent disposal of capital assets.

Section 775-15 states that foreign gains are assessable when they are realised unless it is a gain of a domestic or private nature, such as when you go travelling overseas on holidays or purchase goods for personal use. 

If you are merely depositing money and make withdrawals from a foreign currency denominated bank account this can give rise to a gain or loss being made but it would only be assessable if your account balance was more than $250,000.  However to take advantage of this exemption you must make an election to disregard any realised foreign currency gains or losses for accounts with a balance under this threshold.

Sub-division 960C of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 sets out the rules for foreign currency to be translated into an Australian dollar amount including the use of an appropriate prevailing exchange rate for the translation.


This article first appeared in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of YTE Magazine Copyright Your Media Edge Pty Ltd 2011.

Tags: Chartered AccountantPersonal taxShares

Author: Mr Taxman


"Am I reading this right? If I hold a forex trading account with someone like FXCM and I make a profit or loss and that account balance is less than $250,000 I can elect for it to be not assessible for tax purposes whether I make a gain or a loss?"

By: Dave on Jun 04, 2012 6:26AM

"Not quite Dave. If you are actively trading then this would not be of a private or domestic nature (but rather a business activity) & any profts would be assessable regardless of your balance. The exemption was designed where people merely had some money sitting overseas in a bank account & didn't have to report movements in exchange rate fluctuations."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 04, 2012 8:11AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Thank you for providing such informative site for all of us - very gen of you! My question is about Forex Currency Trading. I have just begun actively trading through my Company and as there are no actual in/out fees for placing a trade such as stocks/options ($25-$30). Is the spread 1-3 pips say @ $0.50 ($0.50 - $1.50) the fee for placing a trade and can I claim this as an expense on my Tax Return? Also, how many years are Business losses quarantined for? Thanks so much in advance Mr Taxman!"

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By: Scott Richard on Feb 06, 2022 11:05PM

"Where on the etax do i enter my profits or losses? Also, just trying my luck, are paid forex courses tax deductible?"

By: Scott on Jul 20, 2012 4:11AM

"Forgot to mention, i am just a small time casual trader who just started only 5 months ago"

By: Scott on Jul 20, 2012 4:14AM

"You will need to show the income & expenses as business income in item 15 of your income tax return. If you conducted the courses prior to doing any trading then you cannot claim them (just like a uni graduate cannot claim their courses they studied before they got a job)."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 26, 2012 11:38AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Could you please advise if I made a $1000 FX trading gain this year but have $3000 deferred non commercial business losses from prior year, can I use the $1000 FX trading gain to offset the $3000 deferred losses, i.e. my net deferred losses to $2000?"

By: Eve on Oct 30, 2014 12:08PM

"I hope someone can help me. I doing my etax and am not sure if my Forex trading losses is deductible against my Assessible Income, or does it falls under Capital Loss. I opened up a Forex trading account abroad and it had been traded by a company for a month but it suffered losses so I closed my account and pulled out the remaining fund. "

By: victor on Aug 19, 2012 9:24AM

"Victor - your trading losses are quaratined against future trading gains. They can only be offset against normal assessable income if you satisfy one of the non-commercial rules (one of the popular ones is trading income over $20k per annum)."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 24, 2012 12:20AM

"Mr Taxman: Can you please direct me to a section on the ATO website where I can read about this ruling mentioned in your reply to Victor Aug 24, 2012"

By: Rachel on Apr 16, 2013 6:58AM

"Here is some info on the non-commercial losses rules "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 17, 2013 7:42AM

"To meet the 20k turnover do you add up sales or profits on completed trades"

By: Matthew on Aug 31, 2013 2:16AM

"If I have placed less than $250k of funds into a foreign currency bank account 2 years ago with the intention of making a profit and now wish to draw on those funds having made a loss - is the loss regarded as a deduction? If so, where in an individual's tax return does it belong?"

By: David on Oct 12, 2012 2:41AM

"You can show the loss in the foreign currency income question of your income tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Oct 18, 2012 8:51PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have an overseas stockbroking account on which I trade U.S equities from. Would USD cash balances held in this account count toward the AUD250,000 tax exemption threshold, if I made an election? Or do accounts only qualify if they are pure bank accounts? (as opposed to share trading accounts)"

By: jon on Oct 16, 2012 10:07PM

"If you are using the account for the purposes of trading then I would be inclined to think that it was not held for a private purpose & hence the exemption would not apply here in this instance."

By: Mr Taxman on Oct 18, 2012 8:46PM

"Mr Taxman, would like to know if my beginner's forex trading loss should be put onto my eTax or not? which item to put it in if can? Also had a foreign option trading account for years in loss - will it be tax dedutiable only towards any future capital gains? thanks"

By: chi on Oct 19, 2012 4:19AM

"By all means include in your tax return. Trading losses are quarantined to future tax years (unless you satisy one of the non-commercial losses rules) where they can then be used to offset future trading profits."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:24PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, if I am holding CHF450,000 in a Swiss Franc denominated account that i opened 2 years ago do i need to account for any FX movements in the balance from year to year. The account only derives interest income monthly. thanks"

By: greg howes on Oct 29, 2012 3:19AM

"As the amount is more than $AUD250,000 then you will need to take into account FX movements."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 09, 2012 2:21PM

"Regarding "foreign gains are assessable when they are realised": From a business point of view, does 'realised' mean that I only have to pay tax on the profit when I withdrawl the profit from the broker's account? In other words, if I leave the profit in the broker's account and continue to trade with the profit, I wont pay tax until I start withdrawing? Is that right or am I way off base?"

By: David on Nov 12, 2012 7:59AM

"Way off base. Unfortunately it is deemed as realsied when you sold it & have the proceeds credited into your broker's account."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 20, 2012 10:49AM

"Thanks for the reply. Hmmm. Is that tax paid monthly, quarterly or yearly and do we have a choice in that matter?"

By: David on Nov 21, 2012 12:29PM

"Paid yearly."

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 21, 2012 1:19PM

"hi, i trade currencies on fxcm and i have no idea how much tax i need to pay or if i need to pay tax on it at all? my accountant doesnt know either... can you please help me and point me and my accountant in the right direction? rgds, dmitri"

By: dmitri on Nov 13, 2012 11:30AM

"What documentation have you provided your accountant? All trades during the year? Summary position at year end? "

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 20, 2012 10:52AM

"Hi, i currently holding some speculative currencies that I have exchanged Aussie dollars for. I hope to exchange it back at some point when it has appreciated. As this is an exchange and not an investment, am i liable to pay tax on this? Thanks"

By: Bin on Nov 19, 2012 4:06AM

"Sounds like you are carrying on a business. What is the value in AUD? "

By: Mr Taxman on Nov 20, 2012 10:55AM

"I have just started trading and want to know what my tax implications are with regards to forex trading. What tax rate do you pay? Is there a tax free threashold? If you do a course on trading, can you claim the full amount ($5k) or only a portion of it? Can you also purchase a computer and use the cost against any tax? "

By: Michael Paske on Nov 29, 2012 2:00AM

"Any trading profits will be added to your other taxable income & taxed at your marginal tax rate. If you don't have any other income then you will get the tax free threshold. Expenditure directly related to your income activity will be deductible to the extent that they occurred after you started the activity - that is, you can't claim that course last year that pushed you into trading. COmputers are considered depreciable assets which are to be written off over 3 to 4 years depending on your % business use versus personal use."

By: Mr Taxman on Dec 10, 2012 7:36AM

"Hi, will ato regard trading forex full time as a Personal Service Income ? Or can you setup a company structure and pay 30% max"

By: John on Jan 07, 2013 6:11AM

"You could set up a company to minimise tax at 30%. I would not consider it to be Personal Services Income."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 07, 2013 10:09PM

"hey taxman, I want to rent an apartment with a room dedicated to my forex trading. this will be my full time occupation. can i claim the room portion as part of my expenses? thanking you heaps!"

By: Mandy on Jan 09, 2013 3:24AM

"Yes you can claim the portion of rent for that room Mandy. But make sure you are scientific and get the measuring tape out & work out the exact percentage floor space that the room occupies compared to the rest of your place. The ATO frowns on taxpayers saying "its about one-quarter of the place""

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 09, 2013 4:10AM

"Hi Taxman, I am a part time currency trader, would capital gains tax be applicable on Forex trading or is it just reported as normal income "

By: Mani on Jan 22, 2013 7:57AM

"Normal income if you are a trader, regardless of the time that you spend trading."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 25, 2013 8:44PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I am a part time currency trader and I'm renting a room in a 3bedroom house. My accountant is unsure if it is possible to claim the rent as part of my expenses related to trading against my full time job tax income as I have yet to make any gains/profits in my trading."

By: William on Jan 26, 2013 12:46AM

"If the room is used exclusively for trading then yes you can claim the portion of rent but if you are using that room for private purposes (eg your bed is there and merely have a computer in the corner of room) then no chance of claiming."

By: Mr Taxman on Jan 26, 2013 1:35AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have an account that essentially works as an automated trade service from a signal provider. I don't do any actual trading myself, I just log in and check occasionally as the money increases, but it is only a small amount, less than 5K. It is, however, with an Australian Broker, not offshore. Will I need to declare this on Tax and pay a fee?"

By: Clinton on Feb 12, 2013 2:34AM

"Sounds like you are making money & need to be declaring the income in your income tax return - no matter how passive it is (wish I could just open my bank account & see it grow each day!!). "

By: Mr TAxman on Feb 13, 2013 12:42AM

"Mr Taxman. So in this particular instance when a there is a trade copier service or some automated software that actually does the trading can a tax effective structure be put in place. If so, would a setup for Individual, Company or a Trust be the best option or should you leave for Port Villa ? What is your advice ? Thanks"

By: Greg on Jan 20, 2018 8:44AM

"sounds interesting! Who did you set up the account with? What is your income in percent? Are they based on Queensland? I am looking for something like that and found one in Queensland. They claim minimum 50k profit in a year. Are you happy with their service"

By: Sanjiv on Jul 17, 2014 12:13AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My parent overseas want to help me with home deposit. they also want to send me monthly or quaterly maintainence. I want to know if this money is taxable. I know that any amount I receive has to be shown at IT4(target foriegn income). I called up ATO twice and the person otherside said that if it is a regular gift it is an annutiy and need to be assessable. I do not believe it is an annutiy. Can you please through some light on it and also what documents do I need to maintain so that ATo does not confuses it with foriegn income"

By: Aman on Feb 12, 2013 2:48AM

"Many thanks for your email. I don’t think it will be a concern – the ATO even says that regular gifts from overseas relatives is not assessable income in Australia so I wouldn’t worry about them trying to say it is an annuity if you can demonstrate that it is private in nature & not a wage from an overseas entity."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 13, 2013 12:39AM

"I am still trying to work this out for my tax. I traded currencies through FXCM for approx 6 months whilst working full time. I made approx 200+ trades and treated it as a side business, but did not register a company name etc. I sustained a loss of approx $20,000. Am I able to claim that against my taxable income from my normal employment? or is it treated as a capital gains loss."

By: MickeyD on Feb 15, 2013 3:14PM

"It wouldn't be a capital loss based on your volume of trading activity. Business losses are generally quarantined against future year buisness income but you may be able to offset against employment income if you satisfy the assessable income test of turnover greater than $20k. Note that is not available if you are a high income earner (over $250k employment income)."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 17, 2013 3:26AM

"Hi. I trade forex and have a full time job. Will it be better to open a company to do my forex trading? I a looking at the most tax effective way. I also rent a place and would like to right of the room as an expense. Thanks"

By: Agent Smith on Feb 18, 2013 11:16AM

"Agent Smith?? If you earn more than $80k (when the individual marginal tax rate rises to 37.5%), then the most tax effective vehicle would be a company as its tax rate is only 30%. However any drawings of profits that you take out of the company are assessable to you personally anyway so you would need to leave the funds in there. Also any losses are quarantined in the company & not available for personal use."

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 19, 2013 9:52PM

"I disagree. It is still better for the individual to get charged individual income tax up to $172,000 befre using company tax of a fixed rate 30% individual income tax on 172k is 51,587 where as 30% tax on 172k is $51,600. SO it is still cheaper not use the company tax rate of 30% unless you earn more than 172,000"

By: richard on Jul 08, 2013 12:49PM

"I beg to differ Richard. What is the marginal tax paid between $172k & $80k in your example Richard? 39.5% v 30%? You are assuming no wage being drawn from company (which you would need to do if you are drawing funds out of it!)"

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 09, 2013 2:01PM

"Hi Mr Taxman. Firstly thanks for all the responses to these questions it's helped me out a lot. I have a question following on from your answer to Agent Smith - If I have a company trading and paying 30% tax on realised profits and I withdraw funds from said company for personal use do I then pay income tax at the personal income tax rate in addition to the 30% my company has already paid? If this is the case, can my company purchase non business realated items and assets for personal use by it's employees? Thanks in advance."

By: Mr Griggs on Feb 23, 2013 1:25AM

"In relation to funds drawn out of a company there are two main scenarios - a) you take it out as a wage in the year that income is derived or b) you take it out as a dividend from prior year profits. If the former, then the company will get a deduction for the wage paid & not pay its 30% tax but rather you will need to pay at your marginal tax rate. If the latter, then any dividend that you take out of the company will have the 30% tax credit attached to it to avoid double taxation ... but if the dividend takes you above $80,000 in personal income then there will be some top-up tax required to be paid. Any non-business or personal items would potentially atttract Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) ... another kettle of fish!"

By: Mr Taxman on Feb 23, 2013 10:14PM

"Hi I am a active online forex trader trade volume is over 100 trades in a year and had a loss of 20,000 and on other side i am self contractor accountant ( have ABN for accounting work) and have income from accounting work 80000. Can i reduce my share trading loss from a contracting income and pay tax only on 60000."

By: Mahendra on Feb 27, 2013 2:44PM

"You could offset the loss against your other assessable income provided you satisfy one of the commercial losses tests - I would say your best chance would be the $20,000 turnover rule."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 01, 2013 7:43AM

"I have some confusion that this 20 K turnover should be in non commercial bus activities (forex trading) or in other business activities ( in my case accounting contracts). Please note that non commercial loss activity (forex trading ) and other business activity are not under similar business activities, can i still deduct Forex currency trading loss from accounting contract income. please advice Thanks "

By: Mahendra on Mar 07, 2013 10:51AM

"Only if your loss making activity satisfies one of the commercial rules tests."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 08, 2013 9:16PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, My wife and I have been working in the UAE for 5+ years. We will be returning to Australia with in the next year. We have set up a USD account in an Australian bank and intend on depositing over $250+ USD and leaving it until the exchange rate gets better. Will we get charged a tax on that gain? Should we setup multiple USD accounts? thanks"

By: Jim on Mar 04, 2013 12:17PM

"I don't think the taxman would be very happy if you try to set-up multiple accounts each under $250k to try & avoid tax on any potential capital gains made. Suggest you consider staying offshore til the time you think the exchange rate bounces your way some more. (PS I have no opinion of which way the USD will go against the AUD)."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 05, 2013 10:59PM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, You said that if someone makes a loss or gain from forex trading than we can declare it in item 15 on etax, but if I make more than $20000 losses, I can offset it against other assessable income e.g employment income. But where in etax can I show this loss of $20000 so that it can be offset against my employment income? Thanks in advance."

By: Maks on Mar 08, 2013 4:03PM

"Sorry I don't know the intracies of the e-tax software program but you generally simply show the loss in item 15 of your return & also complete a business loss activtites detail schedule (P9) & then it will automatically offset against employment income."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 08, 2013 9:15PM

"PS A loss of $20k on its own won't satisfy the commercial losses tests ... the $20k relates to the revenue/turnover of the business being more than that threshold. A loss of $20k but turnover of only $19k will not satisfy the tests & needs to be carried forward for future years."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 08, 2013 9:18PM

"Thanks Mr Taxman. I think I am understanding it now. You are very knowledgeable. I am glad I came across your site. Thanks, "

By: Maks on Mar 09, 2013 2:27AM

"Mr Taxman, I have a USD trading account 1. have received about 50 cents per month interest. 2. made some wining and losing trades, with a small overall profit. 3. Since transfering the funds the exchange rate has given me a potential benefit. How should I treat each of these? It would be easier to just use the ATO exchange rate at the start and end of year and enter this in my return."

By: Gary on Mar 10, 2013 11:29PM

"The ATO has daily rates available if you want to show the exchange rate gain to the cent."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 13, 2013 7:36PM

"I have an amount of foreign currency, which was purchased as speculative. Should it revalue, is the outcome looked on as currency exchange, or income, and what would be the tax rate?? Thanks"

By: Paddy on Mar 27, 2013 6:40AM

"I have an amount of foreign currency, which was purchased as speculative. Should it revalue, is the outcome looked on as currency exchange, or income, and what would be the tax rate?? Thanks"

By: Paddy on Mar 27, 2013 11:15PM

"Would be considered as income and taxed at your marginal tax rate ... so potentially 0% if you are a low income earner right up to 46.5% if you earn more than $180,000."

By: Mr Taxman on Mar 31, 2013 10:11PM

"I am a Singaporean, residing in Singapore and wish to trading foreign currency with one of the broker in Australia, do I have to pay Australian Tax?"

By: Jeffrey on Apr 02, 2013 2:44PM

"There shouldn't be any Australian tax considerations."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 10, 2013 9:21PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have accumulated forex trading losses that are a great proportion of my normal income (other work) this financial period. Can I even these out? Or can forex trading losses only be taken off trading income? Thanks"

By: George on Apr 12, 2013 2:29PM

"If you trading turnover is less than $20,000 then your losses are quarantined & can only be used against future trading profits. "

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 13, 2013 5:00AM

"Thanks for the reply so quickly. The total amount lost is >$50,000. I assume this can then be used to offset my normal income as it is >$20,000? Thanks again"

By: George on Apr 13, 2013 12:23PM

"Only if the trading income was ore than $20k for the year ... not your normal income."

By: Mr Taxman on Apr 13, 2013 10:35PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have a question about non-commercial loss, need some clarification on the $20000 rule. Let's say I am trading forex part-time. I made a profit of $30000 in the first 6 months, and made a loss of $40000 in the following 6 months. So, overall i lost $10000 for the year. In this case, does it mean i can offset that $10000 loss against my full-time wage earning income? Thanks "

By: Kamen on Apr 28, 2013 12:54AM

"Sounds like you can."

By: Mr Taxman on May 03, 2013 2:40PM

"I received a redundancy payout this financial year and i have not worked at all for the year. I took some time holidaying around Australia. When i got back. I started forex trading. My only income was from Forex trading. I have a profit of $6000. How do i declare this? Or is this amount a "hobby". It is what i do full time. Also i have a designated area for trading and purchased books after i started and computer. Can i claim these. Also You said you could claim "rent". can i claim repayments on the homeloan?"

By: Robert on May 03, 2013 1:03AM

"You will need to show you profit in the business income part of your income tax return. Definitely not a hobby. Deductions that you mentioned can be claimed although not rent as you are the owner of the property paying off your mortgage,"

By: Mr Taxman on May 03, 2013 2:42PM

"I trade currencies however I am not sure how the non-commercial loss rules apply. In the past 12 months I have made around 200 trades and at this stage I have made profitable trades of just over $5000 and losing trades of $8000 giving me a net overall loss of $3000. What does the tax office class as turnover each contract I trade has a face value of $100,000. Is that the figure for turnover or is it the net result? Thanks Chrissie"

By: chrissie yeah on May 06, 2013 12:18AM

"For each transaction, you take the gross amount of the proceeds received."

By: Mr Taxman on May 09, 2013 11:38PM

"Want to know about forex profit and loss"

By: sudharsh on May 06, 2013 3:34AM

"I only want to know about forex profit ... you are keep the losses!"

By: Mr Taxman on May 09, 2013 11:36PM

"I will be transitioning into full-time currency trading shortly (trading my own capital only) and would like to ask whether it's necessary to register for an ABN for tax purposes? From what I understand it's not, but even if this is the case it may be advisable. Can you shed any light on this?"

By: Christopher on May 08, 2013 2:43AM

"No Chris - you do not need to apply for an ABN if you are merely trading currency or shares. Enjoy the transition."

By: Mr Taxman on May 09, 2013 11:41PM

"Hi, I have recently made a profit of $32,000 on trading forex. I just did this in my spare time around work in the last few weeks. Is it possible to not pay tax on this? I believe it was an educated gamble. I earn over 70k from my full time emplyment"

By: mick on May 19, 2013 8:13AM

"Suggest you get a tax professional to have a look at the actual trading activity but I would suggest that you need to pay tax on it."

By: Mr Taxman on May 30, 2013 11:45AM

"Hi. I've opened a forex account with an Australian broker (deposits in local currency). So is the profit classed as local income? I am an Australian citizen residing overseas. What are the tax implications in this case? I appreciate your response."

By: Ado on Jun 01, 2013 9:53PM

"Hi. I've opened a forex account with an Australian broker (deposits in local currency). So is the profit classed as local income? I am an Australian citizen residing overseas. What are the tax implications in this case? I appreciate your response."

By: Ado on Jun 02, 2013 7:51AM

"If you are a non-resident for tax purposes then only assessed in Australia on income derived in Australia, which your trading probably would be if using an Australian broker."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 12, 2013 12:45PM

"Hi Mr Taxman I need clarification for the below on forex trading: 1. Can we use weighted average method instead of FIFO? 2. If I transfer money in USD to another foreign bank USD account from my USD Australia bank account (which I use for forex trading) for personal use, do I need to pay forex gain tax? For example: I bought 25,000 USD @ 0.97 and transferred 9,700 USD to my foreign bank account after a week for personal reason. At the time of my transfer AUS: USD was 0.93. Do I need to pay tax on forex gain in AUD? (Purchase AUD 10,000 = USD 9,700, Sales USD 9,700 = AUD 10,430, Profit = AUD 430) 3. If I transfer money in USD to another foreign bank USD account from my USD Australia bank account (which I use for forex trading) and open a term deposit in USD, do I need to pay forex gain tax at the time of transfer? Is it possible to pay forex gain tax (if any) when I convert the USD to AUD (for example - once I close the term deposit in 2 years)? Thanks "

By: Sen on Jun 11, 2013 10:57AM

"1. No - although you may not necessarily have to use FIFO if you can match later purchased parcels sold 2. No 3. Not if less than $250k in term deposit."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 12, 2013 12:43PM

"Hi, can we use weighted average basis entire year of income method to calculate CGT? "

By: Sen on Jun 12, 2013 1:47PM

"No - by the way there is no CGT if you are trading, it is normal income. "

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 13, 2013 9:26AM

"Hi, i am looking at making an overseas propery purchase in the next 12 month and have transferred some AUD into foreign currency (USD and SGD) in preparation. I am not sure what currency the purchase will be settled in at this stage but these are the most likly. If these currency appreciate in value between settlement am i libale for CGT - the proiperty is for perosnal use. Thanks Mark"

By: Mark on Jun 12, 2013 10:01AM

"No issue if your principal place of residence. Even of it wasn't then you are not liable for any appreciation due to forex until you ultimately sell."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 12, 2013 12:38PM

"sorry - i meant to say between now and settlemt, not onc ethe contract is signed. i dont anticiptae being able to finalise a contract for about 6-12 months yet. Also do these foriegj currency accounts need to be offshore, or can they be with an onshore australian bank, and do they need a balance less than 250,000AUD eqivelent to be CGT exempt?"

By: Mark on Jun 13, 2013 12:10AM

"Yes the bank balances need to be under $250K AUD equivalent to avoid any tax implications for currency movements. Note that you would need to declare any interest credited to these accounts in your Australian return (plus claim any foreign tax credits)"

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 13, 2013 9:28AM

"Hi, While trading forex I have received profits of around 50k and a loss of around 70k, I don't have an ABN, could you please advise if this is put in at item 15 of my tax return or if the total loss can just go into d15? Thanks."

By: Natalie on Jun 17, 2013 2:49AM

"Hi, While trading forex I have received profits of around 50k and a loss of around 70k, I don't have an ABN, could you please advise if this is put in at item 15 of my tax return or if the total loss can just go into d15? Thanks."

By: Natalie on Jun 17, 2013 3:01AM

"f you are trading then this must appear in item 15 (Business Income) in your individual tax return."

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 20, 2013 7:26AM

"Hey Taxman, great site, thank you very much for all the helpful replies! My question: how are losses on forex trading quarantined? I had 3K losses over 2011 and 2012 but have profits of about 5K in 2013. Can I subtract the 3K when I declare the profit? Regards Schiwago"

By: Schiwago on Jun 22, 2013 11:21AM

"By all means if you couldn't claim the losses in prior years then they carry forward to future years and can be offset against future gains (like yours in 2013 which is great news.)"

By: Mr Taxman on Jun 25, 2013 1:59PM

"Hi Taxman, Great advice, thanks! If I need to claim this on item 15, do I need an ABN to be an individual trader? Or some other kind of evidence? Thanks!"

By: Tom on Jul 03, 2013 1:15AM

"If you are in business then you should have an ABN."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 04, 2013 11:08PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, read through the comments and there's lots of great stuff there. I realise it's a subject that's been covered a lot here so apologies if you feel like you are repeating yourself. I'm just trying to get my head around the whole forex turnover test. I have been trading for about 3 years now and haven't claimed any of my losses or worked out tax. Mainly because it's been a tough slog learning and I haven't ended a year in more profit than I've invested in my trading account. That's all fine it's coming good now. My question on the turnover is, how do I calculate that figure? Lets say I've invested 10k, i've traded for the last 2 years and if I add up all of my profitable trades, they come to around 30K. If I add up all of my losses they come to around 35K. So I'm not sitting on any profit for the year, but does that qualify me for the 20K turnover test? If so can I offset all my forex losses from the last 3 years (35K) against my full time job salary income of $160K? Or is it just the overall loss of 5K that I can offset? Thanks in advance"

By: friday on Jul 08, 2013 4:03AM

"If your gross turnover (profitable trades) is greater than $20k then ok for you to claim your net trading loss (ie losses after any profits) against your wage/other income."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 09, 2013 2:03PM

"Thanks for the response, sorry is that total gross turnover just for the last financial year or over the 3 years I haven't made any claim? Thanks again"

By: friday on Jul 10, 2013 1:35AM

"For each individual year ... you cannot combine the years to qualify for the assessable income test."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:16AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, can you explain in more detail what constitutes profitable trading income over $20k? Does it mean making a profit of $20,000? For example, if i deposit $5,000 into my fx trading account at the beginning of the year and my total balance at the end of the financial year is $25,000, that is considered profitable trading income of $20,000? "

By: trader on Jul 10, 2013 7:16AM

"Your example indicates a net profit of $20k - my discussions above refer to grossing up the profits & losses."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:15AM

"Hi Mr Taxman , First of all I am new to AU and my English is not very good . Sorry if I have some grammatical mistakes . I have been in Forex trading last financial year . My losses is around $4000 and at the end of financial year I didn't have any credit in my Forex account . I was doing Forex trading casually . Most of my trade was online Gold which is not foreign currency although I had some foreign currencies trades as well. Just wondering if I can claim my losses in my tax return or not ? If yes please let me know what item in ETax software. Thanks so much in advance Alex"

By: Alex on Jul 11, 2013 12:13AM

"It is unlikely that you can claim ... whilst you show the losses in your return at item 15 you will need to add them back at item 16 'Deferred non-commercial business losses" as you would fail the non-commercial loss tests mentioned previously on this page."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:19AM

"Mr Taxman, I have traded Forex 2012-2013 in a reular basis apart from my full time job, by investing 25K and finally end up in loss, of around 9k. Is this tax deductable? if so, to which section of etax can I enter the details. This was my first time in forex and is not under any business entity."

By: Milan on Jul 11, 2013 3:41AM

"adding to my question, all profits exceeds 100K and losses happened unfortunately..."

By: milan on Jul 11, 2013 3:48AM

"You should be able to claim the losses in item 15 of your return as you will satisfy the assessable income test of greater than $20k."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 21, 2013 6:31AM

"For some reason this took me a while to get my head round in etax. I was obviously missing a trick in regards to writing off losing trades as expenses. Apologies if I'm the only dumb one and this was obvious for some. But for anyone like me trying to work out how to actually do this in etax here you go. In section 15 you need to put your total return of all of your PROFITABLE trades only in to the "other business income" table. Just one row with the total figure. Then on the next page which shows your expenses in the other expenses table put the totals for; 1) commissions (if applic), 2) Operating costs (servers, training, tools, software etc etc). 3) the total of all of your LOSING trades. This is the most important part if you are at a net loss for the year and want to claim against your salary income. if you have losses from last year you can add them in too. The step through and complete section 16. When it asks if you meet the income test say yes (providing you do of course) and select "assessable income" as test to use. As an example. Trader A invested 10K at the beginning of the FY. At the end of June 2013 they had a net loss of 5K ie the account was sitting 5k. But during the year all of the winning trades they had made totalled 20K and all of the losing trades totalled 25K. 20K turnover test is met and the losing trades are treated as expenses. "

By: Paul on Jul 26, 2013 10:16AM

"Yes the key is satisfying the $20k assessable income test. "

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 14, 2013 7:55AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, If I am resided in oversea (Hong Kong) and opened an Forex trading account with an Australia registered company eg FXCM. Do I need to pay the Australia Tax when I made profit? Many thanks, KF"

By: KF on Aug 16, 2013 4:59AM

"I don't believe you would."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:24AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I’d like to ask something about a previous answer you wrote: “In relation to funds drawn out of a company there are two main scenarios - a) you take it out as a wage in the year that income is derived or b) you take it out as a dividend from prior year profits. If the former, then the company will get a deduction for the wage paid & not pay its 30% tax but rather you will need to pay at your marginal tax rate.” When you say the company will get a deduction for the wage paid, do you mean essentially the company pays no tax on this amount whatsoever since the individual receiving the amount will pay tax on it at his marginal rate? E.g The company makes 100K for the year and 40K is paid as wages to an individual. The company deducts this 40K from 100K in it’s tax return and is then left with 60K as taxable income, which it pays 30% tax on. Is this correct? Thanks in advance. "

By: chloe on Aug 21, 2013 1:35AM

"Yes you have got the concept correct. The individual pays the tax on the $40k & the company pays tax at 30% on the $60k."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:25AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I have started my work in forex recently, and it is my sole occupation. From your previous comments, I understand that if my income is above $20000 this financial year, I should lodge a tax return next July. I was just wondering if I apply for an ABN, would the tax rate be lower? Also, are there any deductibles applicable since I use my home space and Internet connection for my work? Thanks so much for your help in advance."

By: Angie on Aug 25, 2013 9:51AM

"You should be lodging a tax return regardless of income levels. An ABN doesn't change your tax rate at all - you need to be in a different structure eg company or trust in order for tax rate to vary. Any expenses in relation to you deriving your assessable income (eg computer, internet, desk, stationery, subscriptions) should be claimable."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:27AM

"Hi Mr Tax Man, 1. Forex trading cannot be clasified as capital gain or loss. Only as business income/loss. 2. Need ABN to claim the forex loss/profit. Pls correct me if I am wrong."

By: Casita on Sep 08, 2013 10:05AM

"1. correct 2. not really necessary but desirable"

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:29AM

"Can you please expand on why it's desirable for an individual trader to register for an ABN?"

By: Christopher on Sep 26, 2013 1:10AM

"Hi Mr taxman.. I made some profits on my forex account in the FY 2013 but in July 2013 lost all my capital and hence closed my account. If the total profits were less than my original capital, is that still counted as profit and is tax payable on those profits? In a way, I could not even recover my original capital so not sure if the returns are still counted as profits?"

By: Gaiti Zaidi on Sep 09, 2013 6:43AM

"Sounds like you are bad luck with the timing of the financial year - so you would need to pay tax on the profits for the 2013 year even though you have subsequently lost."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:31AM

"Hi Gaiti, Sorry to hear about your losses on the Forex market. I hope I am not overstepping the bounds of this forum (please let me know if so), but I run a business (based in Australia) that connects everyday investors to institutional level forex traders that you may be interested in. Historical returns have been excellent. May be worth a look from your end. Feel free to contact me on if you think we may be a fit for you. Regards, Shaun."

By: Shaun Measday on Nov 06, 2013 4:52AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have found your advise helpful on this website, however when going to enter all my trading profits/losses into item 15 on my tax return I am finding it very difficult to work out where to enter what where and I am also having trouble finding an accountant that knows how to handle forex trading, is there a possibility of you emailing to me an example of how your profits/losses are entered on the tax return. Many Thanks"

By: Natalie on Sep 11, 2013 9:28AM

"A bit complex to do via email. Suggest that you try to find a local accountant to guide you."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:33AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I'm in a partnership business with my wife trading equity. We receive franked dividends and franking credits under $5k per year. How do I declare the dividend income in tax return? and does each partner then receive their share of the franking credit to declare in the individual tax return? Thank you."

By: Bobby on Sep 12, 2013 3:30AM

"Yes each partner gets a 50% share of the dividend & the franking credit."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:33AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I'm a foreign resident and I have a TFN due to I derive rental income in Australia. I found a forex broker based in Australia that I wish to open a trading account with. May I know whether I have to declare any trading profit & loss to ATO as income if I trade through this Australian broker? Thanks."

By: John on Sep 18, 2013 1:48AM

"The key is the source of where the profits are being made. If it is trading overseas (is not Australia) then no Australian tax obligation."

By: Mr Taxman on Sep 19, 2013 4:35AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I recently got my tax done with my accountant and in the previous FY had made a small loss ($75) trading forex. My accountant dismissed it saying that it would be considered a hobby at such a small size. Is there a point at which it's not a hobby or should I have ensured he realised the profit regardless of value? Many thanks"

By: Ben on Oct 03, 2013 10:40PM

"Hi Mr Taxman Great site. I am a foreign national who moved to Australia. I have foriegn currency bank accounts from my "home" country. There are two points I'm seeking to clarify: 1. Is my tax realisation time in respect of the cash in these accounts the date I become a permanent resident in Australia? So I would use that date to calculate the AUD equivalent of the currency in my "home" bank accounts? 2. I have multiple accounts in my "home" country bank. I sometimes move money between these accounts (e.g. because one is a current account, another is a savings account, they also offer term deposits). Is moving foreign currency between my accounts at the same bank (each account denominated in the same foreign currency) a forex realisation event? Going forward I''m making an election as the accounts are under $250k and for personal use. Thanks"

By: Bobby on Oct 12, 2013 2:14AM

"Hi, I'm a Australian citizen, Do I have to pay tax on any profits or income made through Binary Options on IG Markets? If I do what is the tax rate? and will the losses offset my tax?"

By: Simran on Oct 15, 2013 6:56AM

"Hi For information on taxes for australia binary option taxes you can also look here -"

By: Amanda on Nov 27, 2014 1:14PM

"What are the pros and cons of having an ABN vs not having one for the purpose of full-time currency trading? I will be transitioning into full-time currency trading shortly (trading my own capital only) and would like to ask whether it's necessary to register for an ABN for tax purposes? If not necessary, how do tax returns work without an ABN for a full-time trader with no other income source?"

By: Parth on Oct 18, 2013 12:36PM

"Hi mrtaxman, Which figure do I record in my tax return? The balance after losses taken out of profit or only the profit position. "

By: Justin on Oct 28, 2013 2:14PM

"hi Taxman i got a us$ e mini futures trading bank account, i have done some trading in it with currencies, bonds and commodities end of the financial year, i made $140 aust dollar profit and $500 loss in US$ terms- the gain is mainly because the rate was good when i transferred AUD to USD back in Sept 12. in terms of 2013 ATO tax return, should i enter all transactions i had ? this is day trading i hold them only for a few min? or can i show the net loss or profit in foreign business? pls kindly give your advise"

By: jimmy on Nov 03, 2013 12:31AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. Compliments on your very informative site. Looking through the comments on your forex page, it is sad to see the number of people asking you for advice in regards to how they should be accounting for capital losses as a result of their trades on the forex market. No-one wants to lose money, but unfortunately this is a reality for the majority of traders in this space. This fact is one of the reasons why I have started a business here in Australia that connects everyday 'retail' level investors with institutional level traders who have a proven track record of generating 'wholesale' level returns. Should you, or any of your readers on this site be open to this type of service, please feel free to email me at Incidentally, we are fully licensed to market these products as corporate authorised representatives of the brokers we partner with here in Australia. Finally, I am aware this post may be somewhat borderline in terms of the content you wish to see on this site. Please let me know if I have crossed this line. Yours in health and financial wellbeing, Shaun."

By: Shaun Measday on Nov 06, 2013 5:08AM

"Hi Mt Taxman, I received US$250k+ from my ex husband when we broke up and now the USD is sitting in an Australian bank. Reading through the comments, I figure I need to report the movement when I withdraw/convert the USD to AUD. Am I right? How do I calculate the gain/loss? And if it is a loss, can I offset my income tax?"

By: Holly on Nov 15, 2013 12:58AM

"hi Mr Tax man, I am trading fx and have made lossess in last year. Can you please confirm what would be the turnover for considering the $20k non commercial loss test. Would it be my profits (which is less than that) or can it be determined by another way. Total trades i did was around 500. Also is there a way we can claim the loss in D15. thanks for your help"

By: dusty on Dec 06, 2013 3:01AM

"Hi Mr. Tax man, I have been living offshore for 5 years prior to being made redundant in HK in Jan 2013. I have not worked in Australia since Sep 2008 so have been a non-resident for tax purposes during this time. I spent much of 2013 traveling but returned to Australia in Oct 2013 to look for work internationally. Whether i get a job in HK, Sing, NY, or Australia will depend where i am living going forward. I have offshore savings that i would like to bring back to Australia. The recent move in AUDUSD has been beneficial. At what point am i a tax resident in Australia such that i will need to declare these foreign currency gains as income? Or at what date should i be measuring my currency gains from? Thanks"

By: james on Feb 06, 2014 10:32AM

"I have been trading for last 5 years and have been losing. This year based on my learning I anticipate making profit. Can I allocate the losses of earlier years against the profit in the current year. I have not been filing any returns as I am unemployed. Thanks Anup"

By: Anup on Apr 04, 2014 10:26PM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, not sure are you still active on this blog or not but I am hoping you are. I hold an AUS PR status but has returned back to my original country since 2011. Currently I am residing in Malaysia. I would like to trade foreign currency with one of the broker in Australia, do I have to pay Australian Tax?" "

By: Jason on Apr 11, 2014 8:12AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have purchased foreign currency with Australian dollars approximately 3 years ago if I realise a substantial gain will I pay full capital gains tax or a reduced amount for having the investment for more than 12 months? Many thanks Glen"

By: Glen on Apr 13, 2014 9:40AM

"Hello Mr. Taxman. I invested into FX trading through a foreign broker (outside of Australia). How do i report my income from all these trades and how much tax will it be subjected to? Thank you."

By: nymph on Apr 17, 2014 1:02PM

"Hi, I trade options and some shares in USD with a US online broker. When I report my trading activity for taxation do I need to show each individual trade converted back to Australian dollars or am I able to just show the end of year profit or loss converted?. If the former do you know of any accounting software that will do this as I have a lot of entries to convert. Thanks"

By: Cam on May 19, 2014 10:35AM

"Cam, I have to do this myself mate, if you can convert your data to excel then go to Download their data and make your own sheets bud!! You can then grab all the historical data from there mate. Hope this helps."

By: Greg Croot on Jul 15, 2016 12:04PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I see you have stopped responding but I will post my questions anyway..they are not personal but general in nature According to the Goods and Services Tax Ruling GSTR 2001/7 ss31-36 Capital Assets and Revenue Assets are generally defined. It seems based on the definitions given that if one buys and sells foreign exchange through a forex broker (in other words a forex trader) for the purpose of deriving income through the disposal of said assets, then it is deemed as a revenue asset (ss34 and 35), but it would it not also be deemed a capital asset on account of the interest earned whilst the position is open?"

By: Dean on May 29, 2014 3:14AM

"I am a proprietary trader for forex with a forex education company. I took a course with a fee, but prior to the course we were required an ABN, would that mean the course fee can be treated as expense and can be claimed? Its a descent amount of 20k. Im still very knew and still learning, got no income yet. . Also, is there a tax agent in sydney area that you know who can help me for the tax filing? Cheers!"

By: Jeff on Jul 27, 2014 6:00PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, inlaws home in UK transferred into names of their three kids some years ago with 'trust' put in place to allow them lifetime free use of it until their death. Father died some time ago and now mother has had to go into high care so home has been sold with funds put into trust account until her death. Please advise most tax effective transfer of our share (1/3) around 100k in AUD into Australia after her death. Not wishing her death of course but i have been asked to check options."

By: Pam on Sep 01, 2014 3:12PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have just moved down to Australia Would like to engage myself with part time forex trading can you help about what would be my TAX obligation should it be a normal PAYG deduction please help me Investment would be around 400$"

By: John on Sep 09, 2014 1:18PM

"Hello I have have a small loss of about $700 for the last FY year as a trader and this is my first time into trading. How do I take this trading loss out of my assessable income on etax thank you"

By: Anand on Sep 09, 2014 3:34PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have just started trading binary options and have recently made my first deposit to my broker of $500 AUD from my business cheque account as im currently set up as a sole trader. I currently use Xero to import all my transactions and reconcile my accounts from my ANZ business bank account. My Question is in relation to the reporting of these activitys. When reconciling my business cheque account should I mark this initial deposit as personal drawings from the business? I have no intention of withdrawing any time soon as I want to grow the capital. In order to report on these activity's do I need to import every single trade in order to reconcile all activity's to take place (as I currently do with my personal/business expenses)? Or is it sufficient to report a end of financial year account balance? As till I withdraw these funds it is not effecting the balance of my bank account that I typically report on. Im using a Offsure broker in Cyprus. Thanks in advance. Regards, Ben J"

By: Ben J on Oct 12, 2014 3:11AM

"Hi Mr Tax man.... just thought of another question - Can I invoice the business for my own time to trade? "

By: Ben J on Oct 12, 2014 3:49AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Just started a forex training course worth $29995. I have decided to trade forex under a company structure. Can I claim the forex course under tax and can I claim a new computer and software and office expenses undertax. What other expenses can I claim if I am running my forex trading as a business under a company structure? Thank you "

By: Sera Bale on Dec 26, 2014 4:17AM

"Hi MrTaxman, I've recently started and stopped FOREX trading with a $17k net loss over the space of one month. I made roughly 50 trades. I have an ABN which I registered against the account. At one stage I was $15k up (during the month) but my sole trader business has never recorded a profit in any previous year. What are my options at tax time? Can I claim against my income or is it a capital loss in Australia? I have less than zero interest in trading ever again and don't think my ABN will record a profit going forward."

By: Sad Ben on Jan 28, 2015 1:16PM

"Hi, If i have <$250,000 in my account, and its a personal acount, and i transfer from US dollars to AUD there is no tax on it?"

By: TT on Feb 08, 2015 6:55AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, Very informative, thanks! Is is possible to claim FX losses on goods? For example: an order is placed on a factory for a total of $50k USD. Deposit at time of purchase is $15k USD (AUD @.95). Balance due 3 months later $35k USD (AUD now @.80). Can this loss be claimed? Thanks for your insight."

By: THAT Guy on Mar 04, 2015 6:26AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I have been paper FX trading and I am finally come good. A very general question and I apologise if it has already been asked. In terms of tax, say if I made a gain of 200,000 AUD in one financial year, generally, how much would i have to put aside for tax purposes? What would be the scenario if this were to be a second income, and/or if it eventuates to be my primary income. When would I have to pay the tax in both cases? At the end of a financial year, like a regular job? Many thanks!"

By: Richard on Mar 15, 2015 3:09AM

"Hi Mr.Taxman My regular income is 60K (tax paid 16000/year - PAYG). I have ABN and I did forex trading and lost 60K. Can I claim my tax refund 16000 as a return after taxfile. Appreciate your confirmation and guidance. Thanks"

By: Sandy on Jun 25, 2015 10:06AM

"I'm from the UK but live in Australia. I want to trade forex on a UK account from Australia. Should I declare any income from the UK account? I plan to leave any profits in the UK but if I wanted to transfer money to Australia (under$250k) should I declare that as income? "

By: Chris on Jun 26, 2015 4:52AM

"I live in Oz but for some reason opened a trading account with a broker based in Cyprus and lost a few hundred. Are losses treated the same for this? Thank You"

By: Abel on Jul 06, 2015 10:40AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I was given 50 AU$ in an Australian Forex account: I decided to "bet" with them and eventually gained around 1000 AU$ (yeah, I know... pure luck!). How should I declare this gain in my Etax? My income from work is around 95k. Thank you very much."

By: mic22 on Jul 09, 2015 2:18PM

"Hi Mr.Taxman, I am an indian national currently staying in thailand since last 10 years..... If I open a forex trading account with an Australia based forex broker and make profit in it, then do I have to pay any taxes to the australian government?"

By: Tarun on Jul 21, 2015 9:30AM

"Hi mr taxman, I recently started binerary trading , my trading volume was over 20k , however I have a net financial loss of 8k for the year. Can this be claimed against my personal income?"

By: Halley on Jul 22, 2015 12:28AM

"Hi MrTaxMan, Have any new laws around taxation on forex in AUS come into place for this financial year moving forward? Regards, Ben J"

By: Ben J on Aug 10, 2015 4:46AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I think this question would have been commonly asked as of late. I have a binary option trading account in which have made net investment losses of approximately $300k USD including "bonus" money the company provides to give us the leverage to trade in bigger sums at the start. However own funds contributed was only $150k USD and the bonus given by the company was $150K USD. I'm am currently employed full time as a payg earner of $85k per year and I do not have an ABN. I'm trying to complete my taxes and my questions are quite specific: 1. Can i use this netted out investment loss of $350k to offset my tax I pay for my employment job? (I.e tax of say $25k and would I be able to claim some kind of tax credits for the remaining $325k investment losses I did solely?) 2. Does the net investment loss carry on forward through to the next financial year for $325k? Or only the amount which I initially contributed being $150k USD less the tax I pay of say $25k? 3. Given these were in USD, but when calculated in AUD, the amount would be much greater for example, would I be able to claim against FX losses as well on top of my net investment losses incurred? And similarly, would this carry on forward to the next financial year as well? "

By: Darryl on Sep 03, 2015 2:42AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I have a multi currency account and moved under 250k into a USD account in Nov 2014. If I move the money back into AUD after Nov 2015, can I get a 50% reduction in CGT like shares or property? Thanks in advance for your help"

By: Andrew on Sep 04, 2015 9:09AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I trade in us options through an australian company which is based in eastern states. I need to know the income i derived through this will be foreign income or australian income(as i am in australia). where will i show it in my tax return. I do get paid some dividends as well and there is foreign tax withheld on them. what will be there treatment. Thanks in advance for your help."

By: Mandy on Sep 08, 2015 3:19PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I noticed you said that it depended where the profit was made as to whether tax is liable. I trade on Nadex which is in US and traded in US dollars. When I bring money down from the account into my bank account in Australia is that a simple case of personal income or is it tax free as money is not made here in Australia? I notice you haven't answered any questions for a while, so hope that you answer this one :) Thanks in advance"

By: Kath on Oct 11, 2015 8:57AM

"Hi. I just started trading forex full time. I wanna know that in which section I can file tax return, means under TFN or ABN or in any other section "

By: Kang on Oct 25, 2015 10:53AM

"I have an account with FXCM for forex trading. initial capital of $200 was all lost and then i added another $100 and currently the balance has grown to $150. I have been trading for the last 3 months - frequency is at least 1 trade a day. Will it be considered as Business for taxation purposes? I am trading miniscule amount for learning purposes. Until i withdraw funds, do i need to mention this in my taxation? Will it be treated a regular income? In case if i start getting big returns in future, do i need to use ABN? Your help would be appreciated... "

By: Lakshya on Nov 16, 2015 3:22AM

"I am a disability pensioner. I have an equity account trading shares and am now looking at trading the forex market with a UK broker. Would the forex trades be regarded as overseas income and therefore not taxable in Australia.? I do not have a taxable income at present so what would my tax obligations be.? Cheers"

By: Richard on Dec 08, 2015 3:09AM

"Hi, my father who is a foreign resident transferred wants to invest in Australian shares. He will be coming to Australia to meet a broker and inest the shares soon. I In the meanwhile he transferred over $250,000 USD into a USD account in my name as he doesnt have an account here. Will I or will he have to pay tax on any forex gain? Also if he decides to send the USD back to the US will there be any tax implications? "

By: pak on Dec 24, 2015 7:11AM

"Hello, I'm a part-time forex trader and I use online platforms to trade currencies through agents such as FXPro/AxiTrader/etc. I reside in Australia and wanted to know if my profits are taxable (and at what rate)? I don't have a business/company as such, I'm a full-time employee working in Information Technology, and trading forex is something I do on the side. I have been trying to find some info on this, but just couldn't find it. Or maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot. If you could please let me know that would be much appreciated. If you need any further info, please contact me via my email."

By: PD on Jun 27, 2016 2:48AM

"If you are trading at values over $250k then it sounds like it will be assessable at your marginal tax rate."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 8:59AM

"Hi Mr taxman I would like to ask u if I loss forex trading can I claim tax back ? And if I can how many percent could I claim back? Thanks so much"

By: Sam on Jul 05, 2016 7:09PM

"You can only claim your trading/business losses against other taxable income if you satisfy one of the non-commercial business losses tests - usually assessable income (over $20k) is the one for traders ... others it must be deferred & offset in future tax years."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 8:56AM

""Hi Mr taxman, I am just wondering that i had a loss in forex trading from previous years and can i claim that amount in my recent tax return and loss is around $ 5000 USD. Thank you "

By: Anjum Shakeel on Jul 07, 2016 8:59AM

"You can only offset prior year business/trading losses against future business/trading profits."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2016 8:54AM

"I deposited 49k into a friends account (who lives overseas ) and he deposited into a company account based out of aruba (0% taxation) that I have control of but cant be traced to me (opened in a different name of a passport I aquired) I also have a foreign company trading account that I use. I made a about 200k during brexit and I was wondering the best way to bring back the funds untaxed."

By: scottyb on Jul 14, 2016 1:28AM

"I currently trade Foreign exchange part time due to wor commitments but with the help of technology I have the ability to make it fulltime but not be there. The question I am curious about is the PAMM/MAM accounts that are available through brokers. Is there reasons for it to be sanctioned as requiring a AFSL bring the fact it is a signal you are providing and not advice. Also the PAMM/MAM brokers (Pepperstone) also have the legal jargon required for potential investors. Great work mate, Greg"

By: Greg Croot on Jul 15, 2016 11:49AM

"Dear Mr Tax Man, I'm a bit lost with my tax return. I have been trading forex with Vantage FX as part of my uni course - but it required I use my real funds. I dont have an ABN or anything like that. But in a nutshell, I was trading forex online and made an overall loss of $323.22 for last financial year. I like to do my own tax online. Where do I put this loss on my tax return? Thanks in advance. Samuel "

By: Samuel on Aug 01, 2016 7:06AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, where would we put our trading profits or losses in the ATO's myTax?"

By: Christian on Aug 08, 2016 8:08AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I'm currently holding the Australian Permanent Residency status but was resided in Singapore for the past couple of years. I intend to open a forex CFD account with an Australian registered broker like IC Markets. My question is will I be taxed for any trading profits in such circumstances? "

By: Eric on Sep 18, 2016 5:11AM

"Hi. I have deposited 100k AUD in a USD bank account (not Forex trading) last financial year and withdrew in several portions up to this financial year till all deposit withdrawn and made an overall loss of less than 2000 AUD. Would this be considered as a business loss or capital loss? Is 20k turnover rule apply for this one if I want to offset it against my regular income? Thanks "

By: Aria on Oct 07, 2016 3:15AM

"Also, can I claim this in last year's tax return which is due or I have to leave it for current year's tax return? As I said the withdrawals have happened during both financial years."

By: Aria on Oct 07, 2016 3:18AM

"Hi Mr Taxman- this one is a little complicated. I am an Aussie citizen resident in the UAE and have a forex trading account operating in South Africa and financed from the UAE. If I repatriate funds to the UAE are they considered tax free earnings when I return them to Australia? If not could this be minimised by incorporating a trust? .. jumbled I know. Many thanks"

By: Tim Birmingham on Oct 22, 2016 5:05PM

"Held > $500k in US$, whilst non resident. Came under AUS residency in 2014, and transferred funds in 2016. There is an exchange rate benefit of > $100k. Is this a CGT event, thus I can obtain the 50% discount, or is it all taxable at highest marginal rates?"

By: Cafa on Oct 23, 2016 10:15AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I am about to go on the paid parental leave scheme. I know you are not supposed to earn any income while on it or you are considered having gone back to work. Does this mean no Forex trading during the 18 weeks because it is taxed the moment you make a profit? Or do I just declare profit or loss at the end of the tax year and the actual dates aren't relevant? Possible wishful thinking on my part I suspect?"

By: Amelia on Jan 06, 2017 12:38PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I live in Aus, I am paid in USD. The Money is paid into a Hong Kong account and I transfer it down to Aus every Month converting it to AUD. It is for private use, I do not have a company. It is less than $250,000 and the account never goes above $250,000. Can I disregard the gain I get from the conversion from USD to AUD under these circumstances using section 775?"

By: peter on Feb 11, 2017 12:48PM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, if I give my best mate some silver for his birthday and he sells it later down the track, does he have to pay CGT?"

By: Leo on Apr 16, 2017 4:02AM

"Just wondering if you are in trades via the forex and at 1st July you a still in those trades this would not be considered trading stock as suggested by the ATO as the profits/losses have yet to be realised?? How can you have stock if you don't 'hold'it and has no value? Please confirm. Cheers!"

By: Chris on May 11, 2017 5:40AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I got into live forex currency trading part time for about 4 months. During this time I made no withdrawals and regular deposits. I had an account manager that regularly contacted me on my mobile or by email and I learnt from him as well as online forums and other websites. Had late nights, early mornings watching the stock market live etc. I did well apart from not withdrawing any of the funds. I was told by my account manager not to as it would be easier to trade big volumes with more equity or affordability. At the same part I was working part time and casual not a huge income. I came out at a loss of approx $70k. Can I claim a tax loss from this? Or do I need to add up all my profits and then all my losses? "

By: Ali on Jul 07, 2017 11:56PM

"Hello My Taxman. I received warrants from my company some years ago and when they exercised I took a loan from an approved company lender and bought the shares and subsequently sold them for the amount realised in Dutch Krona, value DKK963,000. At the time of tax 2014/15, I realised AUD$176,039.00 based on ATO exchange rates. Since then I have been waiting for the DKK-AUD rate to improve and hence sold transferred the DKK into AUD in April this year for $193,985.00. I believe the difference of this ($17,946) will beTotal Supplement Income treated? How will this amount of gain be calculated by the ATO please? Capital Gain Tax or added to my employee gross calculation?"

By: Fulvio on Sep 01, 2017 2:42AM

"Hi Mr. Taxman, I've been doing full-time FX trading for a few years.. on average about 50k USD a year in expenses and 250k - 500k USD a year in pnl. In the US I can deduct expenses and pay around 23% via 60/40 capital gains treatment. If I decided to move to Australia, what would be the most tax efficient way to continue trading? What would my effective tax rate be assuming the same expenses/pnl? And would you have any idea on NZ as well? Thanks for your help. Thank you for your help."

By: liqdub on Sep 21, 2017 8:34AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, great page and comments. I have a question about Bitcoin. Given that Bitcoin is a 'currency', if I am effectively holding bitcoin in a wallet/account (not trading, just buying and holding - occasionally actually spending further reinforcing use as currency) can I take advantage of the $250,000 exemption?"

By: MDL on Oct 16, 2017 7:30PM

"Unfortunately for all Crypto enthusiastics and crypto traders, Govt is sitting on Fence by calling Crypto currencies as an Asset. There is dedicated community page on ATO site, which has been flooded by complex queries. ATO staff have given up replying because ATO themsleves are still learning more about Crypto. ATO and GOvt has created a task force with "experts" to "help" crypto investors and punters and traders. So far the conclusion as of now (until the rules are changed in next months or so) - Crypto to crypto trading is a CGT event meaning you have to note down the AUD value of Crypto you bought and AUD value of crypto you sold and then work out the gain. - If you hold your asset for more than 12 month then you get 50% discount on CGT. - Example of above is you buy bitcoin or etherium or ripple from fiat currency (AUD) and do not trade or sell till 12 months then you can get 50 % discount on CGT whenever you sell or dispose the crypto you bought with AUD. - The crypto to crypto CGT point is going to be biggest pain pont and administrative nightmere for trader who do hundreds of trades between crypto to crypto a week, dont even imagine what would happen to those who use bots for trading. - According to ATO you are required to keep record of all the trade and transaction history including the AUD value of each asset(crypto) you bought or traded or sold. "

By: chak on Jan 24, 2018 11:23PM

"Ah forgot to mention something. The crypto prices are pegged to the price of bitcoin or etherium. The price of bitcoin or etherium is pegged to USD The pexchange between AUD and USD keep changing -Each crypto is priced differently on diff exchange. - Now go figure the ATO requirement to keep track of an asset in AUD hahah.. "

By: chak on Jan 24, 2018 11:32PM

"I bought a crypto currency called bitcoin. Although i have not cashed it in yet, its value has doubled. Do i have to pay tax on it?"

By: Peter on Nov 15, 2017 10:00AM

"As long as you do not dispose the asset (sell or trade bitcoin) you dont. Plus you can claim $10000 worht of BTC as personal use and then rest as CGT. - IF you sell bitcoin after 12 months and then make 2000$ profit then you can claim 50 % discount on tax. so $1000 will be added to your income."

By: chak on Jan 24, 2018 11:25PM

"Hi My parents want to send me a gift of 200k to help me buy a house. However, I want to open a USD back account here in Australia and keep the money there as USD as I may want to move to the US later and buy a house there. Is this taxable? Your detailed answer is highly appreciated."

By: Mike on Dec 28, 2017 11:43PM

"Hi I have made a deposit of R18000 on binary trading platform and traded for 2 months I was able to make a profit of $80 000 how much tax should I pay in order to withdraw my current balance?"

By: Bongani Wiseman Gininda on Jan 20, 2018 12:42PM

"Hi, my wife and I have a SMSF and hold physical gold in the name of the super in a safe at home. Can I put in a CCTV system around the house for the security of the gold and claim the cost of the camera system as an expense on the SMSF? Thanks"

By: Wael on Feb 17, 2018 3:18AM

"I pay individual (oversea) 30% of the profit earn from my forex trading. He execute and manage all the trading for me.How can I claim this expenses. Ask him to issue me an invoice? As Consultant fee? "

By: FX YTS on Apr 17, 2018 10:27PM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Would like some information as to what information is required when lodging my tax when it comes to online trading. This is not just foreign currency but over all trading but a social platform such as eToro. Currently I am at a loss and not made any profit, can you please guide me to the correct information as to what I need to do when lodging my tax return this year. Cheers "

By: Sam on Jun 05, 2018 12:12AM

"I also forgot to mention I have not withdrawn anything from this account since I am at a loss. Any information that you can provide is greatly appreciated. "

By: Sam on Jun 05, 2018 12:18AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, Thanks for all the info. I have been trading for the past 12 months and have traded well in excess of $20k worth of forex, unfrotuantely Im at a $16k loss. I wanted to confirm if I am able to claim this loss against my normal salary income"

By: Travis Meek on Jun 07, 2018 3:12AM

"An Australian citizen residing in Asia for more than 183 days during the financial yr n becoms a non-resisdent. During that time trading was made with a european forex broker. Would they still need to declare or pay tax on the profits/loss made during that financial year?"

By: Andy on Jul 14, 2018 3:54AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, I am a brazilian citizen and I live in Brazil. Do I have to pay taxes to the government of Australia because of my profits in an Australian Forex Broker? Thanks!"

By: FILIPPE on Apr 09, 2019 12:50AM

"No you wouldn't Filippe"

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2020 10:25PM

"Hi taxman, ive trading crypto using foreign exxhanges and my accountant deems me as a sole trader? trading as a business. however only made around 5k-7k profit. do i just file a tax return to the ato or do i need to file tax returns for the foreign exchanges i used? "

By: john stevenson on May 07, 2020 5:08AM

"Hi Taxman. Can you help me with this question about trading Forex please. I withdrew $10,000 from my super account and started trading it in Forex after practising for many years. I made a profit of $600 this week. But I could lose that all again next week. Such is the nature of trading. I was wanting to know how often should I report my profit loss to the tax department and also also Centrelink as I am also on Job seeker at the moment. Best regards, Gaz"

By: Gazmsnia on Jul 10, 2020 1:40PM

"You only need to report to the ATO in your annual tax return for the year ending 30 June. So profits made this week form part of the 2020/21 year. Plenty of time yet to make more (or lose it which hopefully you won't Gaz!). As for reporting to Centrelink, check with them but I think you need to advise every fortnight."

By: Mr Taxman on Jul 10, 2020 10:28PM

"Hello Taxman! I invested in BTCUSD trading using MT4 trading platform using a broker in HongKong. I am a Australian resident for tax purposes. I used to trade only 2-3 times a month. I made profilts initially but lost everything (around $24k). I have a full time job that is not related to trading. I do not have any other businesses and this trading was suppsoed to be a part time income. Am i eligible to file my losses? What section do i file the deductions under? I consulted by tax agent. He knows about filing shares but not forex pairs."

By: Santosh on Aug 09, 2020 4:05AM

"In the Business Income schedule. Note the losses can only be offset against normal income if you satisfy one of the non-commercial loss tests."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 12, 2020 4:39AM

"Mr Taxman, In regards to the Non Commercial Losses, when determinin gthe 20k rule is that based on your Profit/Loss for the year combined or is it actually turnover from the size of your trades eg when I palce a 0.10 lot for Forex this is actually a 10k trade due to the leverage available to traders. So do you determine the 20k by just your Profits and losses combined or is i tthe size of your trades which should be counted, eg the 10k trade sizes? Cheers Greg"

By: Greg Croot on Aug 10, 2020 12:52PM

"By trade size"

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 12, 2020 4:37AM

"Cheers mate"

By: Greg Croot on Aug 17, 2020 1:36PM

"Hi Mr Taxman. Great Blog here. Question that i cant seem to find the answer too. We have an offshore trading account for crypto and Forex. The trades are performed daily by automated trading platform and a broker. Our initial investment was 30k Euro has grown significantly. We want to wire transfer 200k Euro back to our AUD account. What tax do we have to pay when we bring money back to Australia. Is it CGT? If so, when does the 50% CGT discount start from-When the offshore account was opened? Cheers Natalie "

By: Natalie on Aug 20, 2020 6:27AM

"If you are a tax resident then you are subject to pay tax on worldwide income so you should be recording it in your Australian tax return each year - regardless of whether you bring money back into the country or not (the act of bringing money back itself is not necessarily a taxable event). Sounds like you are a trader rather than an investor so CGT wouldn't apply (and if it did apply then the 50% exemption only applies on holdings greater than 12 months)."

By: Mr Taxman on Aug 21, 2020 5:07AM

"Thank you Mr Tax Man. So too clarify, if i am a Trader for income tax purposes, i can deduct my "investments" off my gross income (from the trades in the financial year) and therefore i am taxed at the appropriate AUD tax rate on the rest?"

By: Natalie on Aug 30, 2020 6:35AM

"Good evening Mr Taxman, I just would like to ask about my forex currency trading(I use MT4 app) Each time I close a trade it shows me a loss or profit and it includes the costs. At the end of financial year I can put the dates in the APP searcher (1/07 till 30/06) and it shows me the total amount (profit in my case) for the year ( I am pretty sure amount of profit includes all the losses and costs like daily swaps). For example end of year outcome is: profit of $800USD. Can I just add that to my end of year taxable income as $800 profit/imcome or do I need to find all the trades back and disclose losses and costs against profits? This 1 amount showing on the APP makes it easy but not sure if I am allowed to do that. Kind regards, Aggi "

By: Aggi on Oct 06, 2020 11:19AM

"Assuming the app calculates the profit currently then you can use that figure in the Business Income item of your individual tax return - ideally the ATO would like a gross up of the turnover/sales less the purchases although not that important if you make a profit but it may impact if you incur a loss & want to offset it against salary income."

By: Mr Taxman on Oct 17, 2020 2:10AM

"I separate everything mate, when it comes to the taxman, so the numbers you see on the RHS of your Statement are not inclusive of your Swaps or Commissions. I have a P/L and then I have P/L of Commissions which is a cost of business and Swaps are added as a separate cost as they are cost incurred for carrying over to another trading session."

By: Greg Croot on Nov 23, 2020 11:26AM

"Hi Mr Taxman, this is a great forum, thanks. I am trading forex and commodities on an Asian platform. Whn I went to withdraw funds I was informed that the Australian Tax department requires me to pay tax on the earn funds - Currently over $300k. They have explained that tax is invetible - agree- but it sounds a bit fishy that I pay them my taxt instead of the Australian tax dept.? Is this a blatant money grab?"

By: Peter Andrew Sutherland on Mar 26, 2021 10:41PM

"Hi Taxman, I read this entire page. Understand that we can claim income/losses under business. Can you please help to identify where in MyTax portal this business income/expenses section is ?"

By: FirstTimer on Oct 19, 2021 1:01PM

"Hi man I have recently started trading using a Australian broker and have made a profit of 28k. I am a u.s. citizen, The broker is requiring a personal income profit tax of 11 percent of the total profits before I can withdraw money from the broker account. Is this standard method of tax payment to a overseas broker? "

By: t ross on Nov 17, 2021 6:11AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I am starting to trade forex. I live in australia and can either choose an australian broker to use or I am keen to use an american broker. If I go with the american broker will it change how I do my taxes?"

By: Lisa on Jan 01, 2022 3:31AM

"Hi Mr Taxman. I am starting to trade forex. I live in australia and can either choose an australian broker to use or I am keen to use an american broker. If I go with the american broker will it change how I do my taxes?"

By: Lisa on Jan 01, 2022 3:31AM

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