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Equities Account Questions

Opening an Account

How do I open an account with TradeStation?

There are two ways you can open an account with TradeStation.

  • If you are a U.S. resident with a valid taxpayer identification or Social Security number, the fastest, most convenient way to open a futures or equities/options account is by using our online application process. You may use this process to open equities individual, tenants in common, joint tenants with right of survivorship and traditional/Roth/SEP IRA accounts. You can open multiple accounts across multiple asset classes during your session.
  • For U.S. residents who wish to open a futures IRA account, international residents or applicants establishing an account(s) on behalf of an entity, paper applications are required. You may obtain account opening forms online in PDF format for all asset classes for the following account types: Roth and traditional IRA, sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, trust and limited liability company. For these options, you will need to print, sign and mail these forms once completed.

What information do I need to provide to complete an application?

  • All applicants must provide basic identifying information such as name, date of birth, permanent address and, if applicable, valid Social Security or tax ID number.
  • Applicants are also required to provide details of their financial condition and investment experience, such as annual income, total and liquid net worth, years of experience and activity in each asset class.
  • For international clients, please be reminded that a valid passport and address verification dated within the last 60 days are required. Acceptable forms of address verification include, but are not limited to, utility bills, bank or brokerage statements and lease agreements.

What supporting documents are required to establish an entity account such as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Partnership?

The documents listed below are required. Please be sure to include all the documents applicable to your firm for all entities that are a part of your firm. For example, a limited partnership that has a Limited Liability Company as the general partner must provide all applicable documents for both the limited partnership and limited liability company.

Limited Partnership

  • Certified Certificate of Limited Partnership
  • Partnership Agreement
  • Subscription Agreement (if used for investing partners)
  • Private Placement Memorandum (if used in raising capital)

Corporation

  • Certified Articles or Certificate of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • Corporate Resolutions reflecting current officers and directors
  • Subscription Agreement (if used for investing stockholders)
  • Private Placement Memorandum (if used in raising capital)

Limited Liability Company

  • Certified Articles Of Organization
  • Operating Agreement
  • Subscription Agreement (if used for investing members)
  • Private Placement Memorandum (if used in raising capital)

Trust

  • First and last page of the trust

Sole Proprietorship

  • State registration document

What is difference between Joint with Rights of Survivorship (JWROS) and Joint Tenants in Common (JTIC)?

Joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JWROS) is an account type in which each account owner has an equal and undivided interest in the cash and securities in the account. Upon the death or declaration of incompetency of any account owners, account ownership passes to the survivor(s).

Joint tenants in common (JTIC) is an account type in which each owner has a percentage interest in the account. Upon the death or declaration of incompetency of any of the account owners, the deceased owner's percentage interest is retained by that owner's estate and is not passed to the surviving tenant(s).

Can I select a trust to be the beneficiary to my IRA account?

No. However, IRS Publication 590 provides guidance as to how a trust may be named as a beneficiary if certain requirements are met. Please visit www.irs.gov for more information. If you wish to name a trust as your beneficiary, TradeStation requires a legal opinion indicating that your trust meets the requirements outlined in IRS Publication 590.

What documents are required to open a Beneficiary IRA?

The following items are required:

  • Equities IRA application
  • Decedent’s death certificate
  • Most recent account statement.

Can I trade short in a cash account?

No. Trading short is only allowed in margin accounts; therefore, if you are eligible to complete an application online, it is imperative that you apply for margin.

Note: All applicants using a paper application, if qualified, will automatically be given margin permissions. If you decide that you do not want a margin account, please contact an account representative at 800.808.9336.

What does the Minimum Activity Fee include?

The Minimum Activity Fee includes access to the TradeStation platform and OptionStation Pro.

Am I a Professional or Non-Professional data subscriber?

You are deemed a "Non-Professional" data subscriber if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You are either a natural person or a qualifying trust.
  • You will use the data for your personal investment (non-business).
  • You do not meet any of the requirements for a Professional data subscriber noted below.

You are deemed a "Professional" data subscriber if you meet any of the following requirements:

  • You are registered or qualified with the SEC, CFTC, any state securities agency, any securities exchange/association or any commodities/futures contract market/association.
  • You are engaged as an investment advisor as defined in the Investment Advisors Act of 1940.
  • You are employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal and/or state securities law to perform functions that would require you to be so registered or qualified if you were to perform such functions for an organization not so exempt.

 

General Funding

Please visit our Stocks & ETFs Funding Instructions page for more information.

 

General Account

How do I contact TradeStation?

We provide a variety of ways for you to contact TradeStation. Visit the Contact Us page of our website to find contact information for the department that relates to your specific question or concern.

How much will I be charged for monthly access?

For equities and futures accounts, the Minimum Activity Fee is $99.95 each month, plus fees for any real-time exchanges to which you are subscribed. The Minimum Activity Fee will be waived if you meet the minimum trading criteria in the prior month. The Minimum Activity Fee does NOT include access to real-time data. When adding exchanges to your account, you will be billed immediately for the entire month, per the exchanges' billing agreement. If you do not want to be billed the full exchange fee for part of a month, you will need to add your exchanges on the first day of the following month. Exchange fees are not pro-rated and are non-refundable.

Where can I view my account information online?

Information about your account can be found online in the TradeStation Client Center.

How often is my account information updated online?

Your online account information is updated daily.

Can I change my username or password information online?

Yes.  Log in to the TradeStation Client Center and select the Customer Profile tab.  Then select Security & Passwords from the left menu.  From there, you can update your username and password.

Can I add and change my account features?

Yes. Log in to the TradeStation Client Center and select the Customer Profile tab. To add or change your account features, select Software & Data Subscriptions from the menu to the left.  From there, you can update or add account features.

How do I update my contact information?

Log in to the TradeStation Client Center and select Contact Information from the left menu.  From there, you can update your phone numbers, email and addresses.

How do I update my payment information?

Log in to the TradeStation Client Center and select Payment Information from the left menu.  From there you can update your payment information.

Can I link multiple accounts to one login?

Yes. Please contact TradeStation Client Services to request this service.

How do I calculate the commission for an order I want to place?

Within the Products tab on the TradeStation website, select the specific product page to access the commissions and plans applicable to your order type.

When will I see the proceeds from my sales in my account?

The proceeds from sales will be available T+1 from the session date of the sale.

How do I receive confirmations?

Confirmations for equities accounts are available at the TradeStation Client Center.

Does TradeStation send monthly account statements?

Statements for equities accounts are available on the TradeStation Client Center.

Does TradeStation Securities provide year-end tax information?

A P/L calculation is provided to all accounts with activity in the prior year, excluding activity on foreign exchanges and foreign accounts.

When must I place my platform in suspense in order to prevent further billing?

Your access to the TradeStation platform must be placed in suspense by the end of the previous month in order to prevent further billing.

If I elect to place the TradeStation platform in suspense, can I access my account information on the TradeStation website?

Yes. The Client Services Department can provide you with a login that will allow access to the TradeStation website.

How can I close my account?

To close your account, please contact TradeStation Client Services.

What account types does TradeStation offers?

TradeStation offers two types of accounts: margin and cash.

Margin Accounts:

  • Day trade qualified accounts (FINRA day trading rules, accounts above $25,000 equity)
  • Non-day trade qualified accounts (accounts below $25,000 equity, trade restrictions)

Cash Accounts:

  • Day trade rules do not apply to cash accounts and accounts are not restricted to three opening trades/day minus prior four business days’ day trades.
  • Must wait for sale proceeds to settle before they can be reused (three business days for equities, one business day for options)
  • Clients may not sell short in a cash account

 

Pattern Day Trading

How is a pattern day trading account defined?

Based on FINRA day trading rules, any properly qualified margin account that places four or more day trades within five business days is deemed to be a pattern day trading account.

Pattern day trading accounts must maintain an account net worth (both beginning day and real-time) of at least $25,000 USD. If the account net worth falls below $25,000, trading is restricted to closing transactions until the account equity is increased above $25,000.

What if my account net worth falls below $25,000 and I decide not to re-fund my pattern day trading account but want to continue trading with TradeStation?

On a one-time basis, you may elect to either:

    • Open a non-pattern day trading margin account. Your account will be limited to no more than three opening transactions per day and no more than three day trades per five rolling business days. For example, if you made two day trades in the preceding four trading days, you will be permitted to place one new opening transaction (buy to open or sell to open) during the current trading day. You are still permitted to place as many closing transactions (sell to close or buy to close) as you would like during the current trading day

    Or

    • Open a cash account. This account will allow you to place unlimited non-margined trades, provided your account has settled funds to place a trade. Remember that the settlement period for a stock sale is T+3 (three business days after trade date) and the settlement period for options sales is T+1 (one business day after trade date).

If my pattern day trading Account Net Worth falls below $25,000, why can’t I just reclassify the account as either a non-pattern day trading or cash account rather than opening a new account?

Once a pattern day trading account is classified as such, we do not permit you to reclassify it as another account type. Any opening transaction in a pattern day trade account could (upon its liquidation) be deemed a "day trade." If we allowed this to happen after the account net worth falls below $25,000, your account would be subject to regulatory restrictions for up to 90 days. You must therefore either re-fund your pattern day trading account net worth above $25,000 to resume trading or open one of the "non-pattern day trading accounts" referenced above.

What if my non-pattern day trading account appreciates above $25,000 in account net worth?

If your non-pattern day trading account net worth appreciates above $25,000, the non-pattern day trading account limitations will still apply.

If you wish to trade without those limitations, you may transfer your equity back to the original pattern day trading account. TradeStation discourages and may elect to restrict excessive transfers between pattern day trading accounts and non-pattern day trading accounts.

 

General Trading

How do I place a trade?

TradeStation provides integrated direct-access order execution using our intelligent order-routing algorithm. Clients also have the ability to route orders to various market centers to which TradeStation connects directly. Orders can be placed from the Order Bar, Matrix, Chart Trading and Market Depth Window, or by using Macros, Hot Keys and automated strategies on the TradeStation platform.

How do I reach the Trade Desk?

TradeStation has fully staffed trade desks of experienced trading professionals waiting to assist you with any trade-related questions, queries and/or issues. The Equity/Options Desk can be reached at 800.871.3563. Please visit our Contact Us page for Trade Desk hours and more information.

 

Equities/Options Trading

What kind of short sale inventory does TradeStation offer?

Through our securities lending division, TradeStation has built numerous relationships with various broker-dealers, giving clients access to a larger-than-normal number of equities for short sale.

What is the process for trading short sale equities?

If an equity is not "easy to borrow," clients may contact the Equities Trade Desk and we will attempt to locate shares for you to short. A Trade Desk representative will enter your order on the platform. You will then be able to modify/cancel the order yourself. There is no additional charge for this service. Please visit our Contact Us page for Trade Desk hours and more information.

*Short-debit fees are applicable

What kinds of securities will I be able to trade electronically?

As a TradeStation client, you have the ability to trade securities on all listed exchanges (Nasdaq, Nasdaq BX, NYSE, NYSE AMEX, NYSE Arca, BATS, BATS Y, EDGX, and EDGA) as well as OTCBB and Pink Sheets securities.

Can I place multi-leg orders for options?

TradeStation connects and routes to all of the major options exchanges and allows clients to place options orders up to and including four legs.

What are the different levels of options trading approval?

  • Level 1 – Writing covered calls
  • Level 2 – Buying calls and puts, plus writing covered calls (cash covered puts for cash accounts)
  • Level 3 – Call and put spreads, plus writing covered calls and buying calls and puts
  • Level 4 – Uncovered put writing, plus call and put spreads, writing covered calls and buying calls and puts
  • Level 5 – Uncovered call writing and straddles, plus uncovered put writing, call and put spreads, writing covered calls and buying calls and puts

How many buying power indicators do I have in my margin account(s), and how do they work?

You have three buying power indicators in your margin account(s), which work as follows.

Day Trading Marginable Equities Buying Power

  • This indicator will ultimately determine new order approval, and therefore will prevent new orders from exceeding this figure.
  • It is capped to the "Beginning Day Trading Marginable Equities Buying Power."
  • It reflects open and filled orders.
  • This indicator acts on a 1:1 ratio for fully marginable securities only; it assumes a 25% margin requirement on the purchase, hence 4:1 leverage.
  • It only replenishes or increases from closing day trades.
  • It will not increase from the liquidation of positions held overnight.

Overnight Marginable Equities Buying Power

  • This indicator reflects open orders, filled orders and account appreciation and depreciation.
  • It will not prevent you from opening new positions, and therefore is an indicator of a possible margin call if day trades are not closed out before the end of the day.
  • This indicator acts on a 1:1 ratio for fully marginable securities only.

Option Buying Power

  • This indicator is capped to the lesser of 50% overnight buying power and/or 25% day trading buying power.
  • It will determine your options order approval, and therefore prevent options orders from exceeding this figure.
  • This indicator reflects open and filled orders.

How will my buying power be affected when purchasing equities with a higher margin requirement or a leveraged ETF?

Your day trade marginal equities buying power figure is based on the premise that the stock you are purchasing is set to the 25% day trade requirement. Certain equities, for risk-related reasons, may be set at a higher margin requirement (50%, 75%, etc.). Any equity that carries a margin requirement higher than the 25% day trade rate can be found on the Special Margin Requirements page in the TradeStation Client Center. To determine the dollar amount of a security that can be purchased or sold short, you can use the following formula:

Day Trade Buying Power (DTBP) x .25/SMR%

Examples:

  • You wish to purchase SKF, which carries a 75% requirement, and your current DTBP is $200,000. How much SKF can you purchase?

    $200,000 x .25/.75 = $66,666

    You can purchase up to $66,666 worth of SKF.

  • You wish to short SDS, which carries a 60% requirement, and your current DTBP is $350,000. How much SDS can you sell short?

    $200,000 x .25/.75 = $66,666

    You can purchase up to $66,666 worth of SKF.

  • You wish to short HGSI, which carries a 75% requirement, and your current DTBP is $300,000. How much HGSI can you sell short?

    $350,000 x .25/.60 = $145,833

    You can sell short up to $145,833 worth of SDS.

  • You wish to short HGSI, which carries a 75% requirement, and your current DTBP is $300,000. How much HGSI can you sell short?

    $300,000 x .25/.75 = $100,000

    You can sell short up to $100,000 worth of HGSI.

What happens with my in-the-money options on the last trading day, before expiration, if I don’t have sufficient equity in the account to support a potential assignment/exercise?

Generally, options contracts that close in-the-money by $.01 or more on the last trading day before expiration will be auto-exercised. You must ensure that sufficient buying power is in the account if you plan on being exercised or assigned. Short option holders do not have any control over when assignments will occur; only the probability of such can be estimated. No options traders can know when stocks will be halted from trading or removed from Ex by Ex-automatic "in-the-money" exercise processing at the Options Clearing Corporation (see its website for memo releases).

If sufficient equity or buying power is not in the account, or if you wish to avoid taking possession of the underlying assets of an options contract that may lead to a highly margined transaction and substantial risk exposure, the options position or strategy may simply be unwound by taking market action before the expiration of trading. TradeStation reserves the right to close out any options position or deny an auto-exercise of such if an account has insufficient equity or buying power to collateralize the resulting transaction. Account owners are responsible for all options-related transactions and financial obligations in their accounts.

 

Cost Basis

PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in this section is general in nature and should not be considered tax advice. For more information regarding tax matters, please consult your tax advisor.

What is cost basis?

Cost basis is the original price of an asset, usually the purchase price plus commissions. In addition, adjustments for wash sales, stock splits, spinoffs and other corporate actions may be made during the time the asset is held by a customer. Upon sale of the asset, costs for commissions and fees are deducted from the proceeds. The cost basis is used to calculate capital gains and losses, depreciation and return on investment.

Why does TradeStation report cost-basis information to the IRS?

As mandated by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, TradeStation is responsible for reporting to the IRS its customers' cost basis and short- and long-term gains or losses on the customers’ Consolidated Form 1099-B. This is intended to simplify year-end tax preparation, as Form 1099-B provides a complete, accurate accounting of the cost basis and gains/losses for the year. TradeStation is not responsible for reporting to the IRS cost basis and gain/loss information for equity positions purchased before January 1, 2011.

How does cost-basis reporting affect Form 1099-B?

Form 1099-B reports a sale’s gross proceeds less commission. Brokerage firms are required to communicate cost-basis information to one another, so equity purchases made in the current tax year and transferred to TradeStation should be transferred with the cost-basis information. The 1099-B now shows the following additional information below for covered securities:

  • The disallowed loss amounts due to wash sales.
  • The designation of long- or short-term gain or loss.
  • The cost basis for securities sold, corporate actions and adjustments for wash sales.

What is a tax lot?

A tax lot is established whenever you open a new position via a purchase or short sale in a security. You can have multiple tax lots within the same security as a result of multiple purchases, or you can have a single tax lot within the same security as a result of a partially filled order.

What is a tax lot relief method?

A tax lot relief method determines the selection of which lots of a security will be liquidated first in a given transaction. In addition to selecting which lot of a security will be sold, it also identifies the associated cost basis and holding period, which are used in computing the gain or loss, and whether or not it is long-term or short-term. When considering specific tax strategies, you need to be aware of the potential tax consequences of your trading activity for the entire year. There may be benefits to applying a different tax lot relief method in different accounts, or in the sale of some specific covered positions.

What tax lot relief methods does TradeStation support?

The default lot relief method for all asset classes is First-In, Firs- Out (FIFO). We are required by law to apply FIFO unless you specifically instruct us to use another method. The following lot relief methods are available:

  • First-In, First-Out (FIFO) – This method assumes that the shares sold were the first shares purchased. This method realizes the maximum capital gains when an investment has appreciated throughout its holding period. In this respect, the FIFO method can result in a lower end-of-year tax bill. However, once long-term shares are depleted, short-term shares will be used, which come with a higher tax rate.
  • Last-in, First-Out (LIFO) – This method assumes that the shares sold were the last shares that were purchased. This method can result in higher short-term capital gains or losses, because short-term capital gains are generally taxed at higher tax rates than long-term capital gains. However, by always selling the most recently purchased shares first, you can build up the number of long-term qualified shares you hold.
  • High Cost – This method assumes that those shares sold first are the highest-cost shares, and can result in minimizing capital gains or maximizing capital losses. This method does not consider the length of time the shares were held, but instead is designed to sell shares that give the lowest gains or biggest losses first.
  • Low Cost – This method assumes that those shares sold first are the lowest-cost shares. This method does not consider the length of time the shares were held, but instead is designed to maximize gains regularly by realizing capital gains at each sale. This method is used most often to take advantage of realized losses that can be offset by larger gains, or to realize gains in the short term in order to prevent a larger capital gains tax hit in the future.
  • Choose Lots – This method assumes the account owner will identify the specific shares that are sold. This is the most flexible method, and allows you to have maximum control of any gains or losses generated when selling securities. The depth of flexibility and control this method provides can result in the most tax-efficient result, as by hand picking specific lots, you can manage your annual long-term and short-term capital gains and losses on every sale.
  • Average – This method keeps a running tally of the average cost of security shares that are purchased or sold over time, including reinvested dividends. Typically, this method is only available for qualifying mutual funds and most ETFs. It is important to note, however, that once you sell shares of a security using the average cost method, any remaining shares are locked into that method, too. However, the method can be changed for any new shares purchased after that sale.

How are transferred securities handled?

TradeStation is not responsible for, nor required to provide, cost basis for non-covered positions transferred into your TradeStation account. In addition, TradeStation is only required to report cost basis for covered securities purchased on or after January 1, 2011, and transferred into your account if the transferring firm provided valid cost-basis information.

Who is not subject to cost-basis reporting?

Non-resident aliens with a W-8 on file and C corporations are not subject to cost-basis reporting. S corporations are subject to cost-basis reporting.

What are "covered" securities?

Covered securities are those for which TradeStation is responsible for reporting to the IRS gain/loss and cost-basis information. This includes all securities you purchased on or after January 1, 2011, with the exceptions of fixed-income and options securities, which were covered effective January 1, 2014.

What are "non-covered" securities?

Non-covered securities are those for which TradeStation is not responsible for reporting to the IRS. They include any positions established prior to January 1, 2011.

What are realized and unrealized gains/losses?

Your unrealized gains and losses are the difference between the current price of the positions you hold and their purchase price, reflecting how much the positions have gained or lost since you bought them. If you close one of these positions, the gain or loss will become realized, or completed.

What is a capital gain?

When you sell an asset at a higher price than you paid for it, the difference between the purchase price and the sale price is your capital gain. For example, if you buy 100 shares of stock for $20 a share and sell them for $30 a share, you realize a capital gain of $10 a share times 100 shares, or $1,000. If you own the stock for more than a year before selling it, you have a long-term capital gain. If you hold the stock for less than a year, you have a short-term capital gain.

What is a capital loss?

When you sell an asset for less than you paid for it, the difference between the purchase and sale prices is your capital loss. For example, if you buy 100 shares of stock at $30 a share and sell them at $20 a share, you will realize a capital loss of $10 a share times 100 shares, or $1,000.

How does TradeStation calculate gains and losses?

TradeStation has opted to use the IRS default method of First-In, First-Out (FIFO) and Specified Lot. The first method, FIFO, means that shares purchased first are sold first.

What is a wash sale?

A wash sale is the result of selling a security at a loss and buying it back within 30 days of the sale date or purchasing it within 30 days prior to the sale date. The total wash sale period is 61 days: 30 days before the sale date and 30 days after.

What is the result of a wash sale?

The loss that would have been incurred for the shares sold is disallowed and added proportionately to the basis of the replacement shares. In addition, the holding period for the shares you sold is added to the holding period of the replacement shares. The disallowed loss will be obtained when the replacement shares are sold.

How are wash sales reported?

TradeStation reports wash sales for identical covered securities (same CUSIP) purchased and sold in the same account. In addition, wash sales do not need to be reported for securities transferred in or between accounts within TradeStation. Clients should report on substantially identical securities across accounts for covered and non-covered securities, as they always have.

Can a client opt out of wash sale reporting?

As a part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, TradeStation will be responsible for reporting its customers' cost basis, short- and long-term gains or losses and "wash sales" to the IRS via the revised Form 1099-B. Previously, we were required to report only the gross proceeds less commissions of a sale.

TradeStation is not required to report wash sales for accounts for which you made a valid "mark-to-market" election under IRS code section 475(f)(1).

Please consult with your tax advisor and/or refer to Publication 550 (Investment Income and Expenses) on How to Make the Mark-to-Market Election with the IRS. Once you receive confirmation of your election from the IRS, notify TradeStation, in writing (email is acceptable), of the identity of your TradeStation accounts as solely containing securities subject to the election. If you made such an election with the IRS and you fail to notify us, we will report your wash sales, possibly subjecting you to income tax reporting discrepancies.

Upon receipt of your election under IRS code section 475(f)(1), we will refrain from reporting wash sales in the referenced account(s) for future tax years unless and until you subsequently inform us, in writing (email is acceptable), that the election no longer applies to you or to the account(s). If so informed, we will prospectively report wash sales for your account(s).


Please provide the following information (you may cut and paste the text below to use as a template):


Name:
Address:
Telephone Number:


I/We certify that a valid and timely election under IRS code section 475(f)(1) has been made and that the referenced accounts contain only securities subject to the election.

List Account Number(s) covered by your election:






Send your notification via email to: accountservices@TradeStation.com

Or mail to:

ATTENTION: Account Services Mark-to-Market
TradeStation Securities
8050 SW 10th Street, Suite 2000
Plantation, FL 33324

If you have any accounting questions regarding your election, please consult with your tax advisor. For non-accounting questions, call our Client Services Department at 800.822.0512 or 954.652.7900.

Is cost basis reported for IRA accounts?

For the current tax year, TradeStation will not be reporting cost basis for IRA accounts to customers or the IRS. Cost basis may be reported to customers for informational purposes, but as this is not currently required by the IRS, cost-basis pages will only display IRA cash balances.

For mutual funds, TradeStation uses average cost as its default cost-basis accounting method. If you wish to use the average cost method, no action is required at this time. Average cost for an account is calculated by adding up the cost of all covered purchases in the account (made after January 1, 2012) and dividing that total by the number of covered shares in the account. Under the average cost method, shares are redeemed in first-in first-out order, but the cost basis for all shares will be the calculated using average cost. TradeStation also provides FIFO as a cost-basis accounting method as an option for mutual funds. For more information, please contact your tax adviser or accountant.

For ETFs, TradeStation uses FIFO as its default cost-basis accounting method.

 

Equities Tax Reporting

When will I receive my tax documents from TradeStation?

Consolidated Form 1099s will be mailed and made available online for TradeStation Equities Accounts beginning in the last week of January. The consolidated Form 1099 may include forms 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC, and 1099-OID dependent upon the activity within your account.

When are the important deadlines for the 2015 tax year?

April 18, 2016.

  • This date represents the tax filing deadline established by the IRS. This is also the last day to contribute to an IRA account for the previous tax year. If you need to submit your tax return later than this date, you must file for an extension.
  • The regular tax return filing deadline is April 15. However, due to the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 15 instead of April 16, Tax Day is on the following Monday.
  • To avoid late payment penalties and interest, any additional taxes you owe must be paid by this date, regardless of whether or not you filed an extension.
  • Due date for the first installment of 2016 estimated tax payments.

April 25, 2016.

  • If you did not file for an extension, this is the deadline for re-submitting your tax return, or paper-filing a rejected federal return that was originally e-filed by the April 18 deadline.
  • Important Note: Although the last day to resubmit a rejected return is October 20, the April 25 deadline applies to taxpayers who owe taxes and want to avoid the late-filing penalty.
  • Deadline for re-submitting or paper-filing a rejected extension that was originally e-filed by the April 18 deadline.

June 15, 2016.

  • Deadline for filing a personal tax return for U.S. citizens or residents living and working abroad, including military duty.
  • Due date for the second installment of 2016 estimated tax payments.

September 15, 2016.

  • Final deadline for filing a 2015 tax return for a corporation, S corporation, or partnership, if you elected to file an extension.
  • Due date for the third installment of 2016 estimated tax payments.

September 30, 2016.

  • Final deadline to file your estate/trust tax return for the 2015 calendar year, if you elected to file an extension.

October 17, 2016.

  • Final deadline for filing a 2015 personal or C corporation tax return, if you elected to file an extension.

October 20, 2016.

  • Final deadline to resubmit a rejected tax return that was originally e-filed on or before October 17.
  • If you're expecting a refund and miss the October 20 e-file cutoff date, you have until April 15, 2019 (October 15, 2019 if you filed an extension) to file a paper return and claim your 2015 refund.

January 15, 2017.

  • Due date for the fourth installment of 2016 estimated tax payments.

Can I access my TradeStation tax documents online?

Yes. Once posted, you can access your Consolidated Form 1099 through the TradeStation Client Center:

  • Log in to the Client Center 
  • Select Accounts from the main navigation menu
  • Expand Equities Accounts in the left navigation menu
  • Select Account Statements from the left navigation menu.

View this video to learn how to download your TradeStation trading activity for tax preparation.

Does TradeStation offer a discount on tax software?

Yes. TradeStation clients may save up to $15 on the purchase of TurboTax® software. This special offer is made possible through our partnership with Intuit, Inc.  Learn more.

How do I import my TradeStation account information into TurboTax® (Installed Version)?

TradeStation clients may import equities dividend, interest, and buy/sell information directly into TurboTax. If you need to report Section 1256 Contracts, such as regulated futures contracts, foreign currency contracts, or non-equity options they must be manually entered. Wash sales will be calculated after import.

  • Locate your Consolidated Form 1099. If you need to download a copy online, click here.
  • Open TurboTax and display your tax return.
  • Click the File menu.
  • Select Import, then From Financial Institution.
  • In the search box provided, type TradeStation to locate and select TradeStation in the lower window (it will stay highlighted), and then click the Continue button.
  • Type your 8-digit TradeStation Account Number and the 11-digit alphanumeric Document ID included at the top of your Consolidated Form 1099, and click Continue.
  • Make sure to check all of the checkboxes under These documents are Now Ready for Import, and click Import Now.
  • Click the Done button at the bottom of the Import Summary screen.

View this video to learn how to import your TradeStation trading activity into TurboTax.

How do I import my TradeStation account information into TurboTax® (Online Version)?

TradeStation clients may import equities dividend, interest, and buy/sell information directly into TurboTax. If you need to report Section 1256 Contracts, such as regulated futures contracts, foreign currency contracts, or non-equity options they must be manually entered. Wash sales will be calculated.

  • Locate your Consolidated Form 1099. If you need to download a copy online, click here.
  • Log in to your online TurboTax account and display your tax return.
  • Click the Federal Taxes menu item in the left-hand sidebar, click Wages & Income, and then click I'll choose what I work on.
  • Browse to the Investment Income section.
  • Click the Start button next to Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Other.
  • When prompted, if you sold any investments during the tax year, select Yes.
  • In the search box labeled Import from my bank or broker, type TradeStation, then select TradeStation, and click Continue.
  • Type your 8-digit TradeStation Account Number and the 11-digit alphanumeric Document ID included at the top of your Consolidated Form 1099, and click Continue.
  • Make sure to check all of the checkboxes to ensure all of the data available is imported and click Import Now.
  • Click the Done button at the bottom of the Import Summary screen.

View this video to learn how to import your TradeStation trading activity into TurboTax.

How many positions can I import into TurboTax®?

Within TurboTax, a position is represented by a record of the opening and closing information for that position. Typically, this comprises two trades (a buy and a sell). TurboTax limits the number of records that can be imported to approximately 2,500 within the installed/desktop version, and to approximately 500 within the online version. While importing your account information into TurboTax, if more than the maximum number of records are detected, you will receive notification and further instruction within the TurboTax interface.

How do I edit the TradeStation account information I imported into TurboTax® (Installed Version)?

If you need to edit imported data:

  • Open TurboTax and display your tax return.
  • Click the Federal Taxes tab.
  • Click Wages & Income.
  • Click I'll choose what I work on in the middle of the page.
  • Scroll down to the Investment Income section.
  • Click Start or Update to the right of Stocks, Mutual Funds, Bonds, Other.
  • Click Edit to the right of the transaction, and click Continue on the next screen.
  • Select Edit and make any necessary changes.
  • Scroll to the bottom, and click Continue.

What are Section 1256 contracts?

Section 1256 contracts claim a profit/loss based on year-end value, even though the contracts haven’t been closed. Examples of Section 1256 categorized contracts include:

  • Regulated futures contracts
  • Foreign currency contracts
  • Non-equity options
  • Dealer equity options
  • Dealer securities futures contracts.

How do I know if I have Section 1256 contract activity to report to the IRS?

If you have trading activity in your TradeStation equities account that is classified as a Section 1256 contract, it will be displayed in the Regulated Futures Contracts summary on your Consolidated Form 1099. It is important to note that if you choose to import your account data into tax preparation software, this information will not be included. To complete you tax return, you will need to enter these activities manually.

How do I enter Section 1256 contract information into TurboTax?

When you import your TradeStation account information into TurboTax, your Section 1256 transactions will not be included. In order to report any Section 1256 contracts you may have, simply complete the following steps within TurboTax:

  • Open TurboTax and select your tax return.
  • Click the tab titled Federal Taxes, and then select Wages & Income.
  • Click the button I’ll choose what to work on.
  • Under the Investment Income section, locate the section titled Contracts and Straddles and click the Start button provided.
  • When prompted by the question Any Straddles or Section 1256 Contracts?, click Yes.
  • Select any special elections that may apply to you.
  • On the Contracts and Straddles page, choose the box next to the Section 1256 Contracts marked-to-market.
  • Select how you would like to enter your transactions.

If you require further assistance with reporting your Section 1256 contracts to the IRS, please contact a qualified tax advisor.

Can I import my TradeStation account information into other tax preparation software programs like those from TaxAct®, H&R Block®, and Tax Slayer®?

Yes. Once posted, you can download tax activity for your TradeStation equities account through the TradeStation Client Center.

  • Log in to the Client Center 
  • Select Accounts from the main navigation menu
  • Expand Equities Accounts in the left navigation menu
  • Select Tax Center from the left navigation menu
  • The following formats can be exported:
    • QIF (GainsKeeper)
    • CSV (TradeLog, TaxAct)
    • OFX (Trade Accountant)
    • QFX (TurboTax)

What are the most common tax forms I might encounter, and what do they report to the IRS?

Tax Document

About this Document 

Consolidated Form 1099

This document provides a record of reportable income and transactions for the tax year.  The consolidated Form 1099 may include forms 1099-B, 1099-DIV, 1099-INT, 1099-MISC, and 1099-OID depending on the account activity.

Form 1099-B

This document details all sales transactions, cover short transactions, redemptions, tender offers, and mergers for cash.

Form 1099-DIV

This document provides a summary of stock or mutual fund dividends received, mutual fund capital gains distributions, and any non-taxable distributions.  Additionally, the document details any federal and foreign tax withheld.

Form 1099-INT

This document provides a record of interest income earned if total interest earned was $10 or more.  Additionally, the details any federal and foreign tax withheld.

Form 1099-MISC

This document reports an end-of-year summary of all non-employee compensation.  Common examples include royalties, rent, self-employment income, and several other forms of miscellaneous income.

Form 1099-OID

This document is used to report original issue discounts on corporate bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), collateralized debt obligations (CDOs), and U.S. government obligations.