Section 1256 contracts

Section 1256 Contracts

Investments that fall under Section 1256 of the U.S. Tax Code, namely, any regulated futures contract, any foreign currency contract, any non-equity option, any dealer equity option, and any dealer securities futures contract. Section 1256 contracts are treated differently from other securities for tax purposes. Specifically, rather than waiting to tax them until they are sold, Section 1256 contracts are treated as if they were sold at market value on the last day of the tax year. This means that one may be liable for capital gains taxes on a Section 1256 contracts even though the positions are still open. See also: Form 6781.

Section 1256 contracts

Any of several types of futures and options contracts that are subject to a special tax rule of the Internal Revenue Service. Named for a section of the IRS Code, these contracts must generally be treated as if they are sold at fair market value on the last business day of the tax year. Section 1256 contracts include regulated futures contracts, foreign currency contracts, nonequity options, dealer equity options, and dealer securities futures contracts.
References in periodicals archive ?
Andrea Kramer of McDermott Will & Emery LLP discusses popular financial products and their uses; section 1256 contracts and the tax straddle rules; the mark-to-market rules; the special rules for commodities derivatives dealers; the tax treatment of supplies and tax hedges; and the effect Dodd-Frank has on certain popular financial products.
The taxpayers took the position that because the euro is a "major" currency traded on the interbank market, its options are section 1256 contracts that must be marked to market (allowing them to recognize a loss), and because the krone is a "minor" currency its options are not section 1256 contracts and are not marked to market (enabling them to avoid recognizing a gain).
Taxation as a Financial Instrument: Section 1256 Contracts
Five forms (Schedule J; Forms 8271, Investor Reporting of Tax Shelter Registration Number; 8582-CR, Passive Activity Credit Limitation; 6781, Gains and Losses from section 1256 Contracts and Straddles; and 8586, Low-Income Housing Credit) will be added to e-filing for the 2000 filing season.
A taxpayer other than a corporation, estate or trust (section 1212(c)) may elect to carry back a "net section 1256 contracts loss" to each of the three taxable years preceding the loss year to offset any net section 1256 contract gain in those years.
Now the accrual basis for book purposes contrasts with mark-to-market taxability of Internal Revenue code section 1256 contracts, treatment of currency gain or loss as interest income or expense and other novel tax law changes.