Do You Need to Pay Tax On Online Investments?

Income Tax

Tax is an essential form through which countries raise funds for various purposes. There are different types of taxes based on the source or category. If you are into forex trading or some other online investments, taxes may apply depending on your country’s laws. Knowing how taxes apply or do not apply to your investment, you’ll avoid trouble with the tax authorities and have a better grasp of your post-tax finances. This article explores what you need to know about taxes on online investments, the type of taxes that apply, and how you can submit tax information for the applicable categories.

What are Income Tax and Investment Tax

Income tax is the percentage the government takes from a particular income within a specified period. Income tax varies according to the maximum and minimum amount of income, usually categorized into earning classes. Income tax typically applies to every earning, profit, or income that individuals make, whether from physical or online businesses or investments, but there are certain exceptions. Tax exceptions or waivers are granted to a certain income level, usually below a fixed figure which may be stretched to a higher limit.

Income tax also applies to organizations, companies, and businesses, and according to the legal requirements, all individuals and companies must file income taxes except where they are given waivers. Thus, if you have online investments, either as an individual or you own a company investing online, your income may be subject to tax.

A specific government agency usually handles income tax. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and The Canada Revenue Agency ( CRA ), for example, are in charge of taxes in the US, the UK, Australia, and Canada, respectively.

There are three types of income taxes; personal income tax, business income tax, and local or state income tax. The US federal government, for example, charges personal income tax. But most US States also charge state taxes on personal incomes. Some countries have only federal taxes and do not charge local taxes on personal incomes. You may need to confirm with your country’s revenue service or tax agency the taxes you should pay.

Investment tax refers to capital gains taxes paid on profits made from investments, either traditional investments such as real estate and retirement accounts or modern markets such as cryptocurrencies. If an investment yields profits, it is typically up for taxation. However, investment taxes differ from country to country and even state to state within a country and are treated slightly differently from income taxes.

The percentage of tax you pay depends on your government’s decision, but it usually follows a higher pay, higher tax formula. Tax typically ranges from 10% to just under 40% in most countries.

What are the taxable online investments and income?

Taxable Online Investments

If you have any of these, you may be liable to taxation:

● Capital gains (short-term and long-term)
● Profits from forex trading (full-time trading and part-time trading)
● Dividends

How Countries Tax Online Investments

Most countries treat taxes differently, with many variations in the type, percentage, and exceptions. Here’s how some countries tax online investments.


The UK

The UK treats tax differently for online investments and businesses. The HMRC classifies traders before applying taxes. Traders who use spread accounts are not liable to taxes, while self-employed traders may not be taxed based on their trading but will have to pay income tax as a business. Traders who manage large accounts may be classified as private businesses and thus pay taxes as such. Part-time (hobby) traders are not taxed, while full-time traders are taxed. CFD traders pay 10% on profits below £50,000 within a calendar year and 20% on profits above £50,000. Traders are, however, liable to tax allowances for income below £12,000.


Profits from online investments are solely subject to capital gain taxes. However, the tax rates may also vary depending on how the tax slabs change, the amount earned, and the type of investment. For example, gains from forex trading are generally subject to two types of taxes. These taxes are direct and indirect. Indirect taxes include stamp duty, securities transaction tax, and goods and services tax (GST). It is essential to learn in which category you will be subject to taxation since taxes may be assessed in various ways. This allows you to better plan your operations and handle your taxes well.
The GST (goods and services tax) is assessed on all revenue from business transactions and is often calculated as a percentage of your generated earnings. You will be assessed the appropriate proportion of the earnings based on whether your income is more than or less than a certain threshold.

Generally, regardless of whether the market you traded is listed or not, it is classified as an unlisted security in India under the IT Act. Therefore, long-term capital gain taxes at a rate of 20% with indexation advantage are applied to the earnings you gained from the investment when you keep the asset for more than twenty-four months (two years). If you sell your investment before the required twenty-four months, you will be subject to a short-term capital gain tax rate, which means you will be required to pay tax at the appropriate slab rate. The long-term capital gain tax rate is 20%, and an additional 4% is added to cover the cost of education and healthcare.

The US

The US IRS classifies forex futures and options under 1256 transactions, subject to the 60/40 capital gains and losses rule. The agency classifies spot traders under section 988, meaning they can write off all their losses for a calendar year. Spot traders may also choose between two tax sections and regulations; the IRC Section 988 and 1256 contract regulations. Online investments are taxed under capital gains regulations, but full-time and self-employed traders may be liable to pay taxes.


In Canada, online investments may be subject to personal income tax if the trader has a full-time trading job and the income exceeds a certain amount. However, all foreign exchange trades are treated as capital gains or losses for CAD 200, and traders only have to report the same if it exceeds that amount. Online investments are reported for taxation using Schedule 3 (Capital gains or losses), IT95R (Foreign exchange gains and losses), and IT346R (Commodity futures and certain commodities). Capital gains on any online asset may be taxed depending on its classification. Forex traders are classified as business owners and may pay up to 50% tax on capital gains profits.


The ATO classifies forex trading into two categories; trading and investing. Traders, who make profits from short-term speculation, are taxed as personal income tax. Investors who hold assets over 12 months and profit from selling are taxed capital gain taxes. They are also liable to claim tax deductions on capital gains losses and exemptions on funds spent on educational and trading materials.

Final Thoughts

Online investment tax is crucial if you trade forex, cryptocurrencies, or other online investments. You may be liable to pay tax depending on your country’s tax policies. It is essential to check with the tax authority to confirm your tax status based on your trading category.

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