TradeLog Blog: A Community for Active Traders

Here you can find articles written for active traders and investors about topics ranging from trader taxes to TradeLog software news. Choose a category in the menu on the right, or scroll through all recent posts below...


2014 is here, which means it is time to start thinking about filing 2013 taxes - not the most exciting task, we know.

The good news is there are no major changes to IRS requirements this year! But there are some updates to IRS forms and instructions as well as other important information you should know. In this post we have put together a collection of information active traders need to know, as well as links to many resources available to help active traders with tax reporting.Read More...


Trading, to some, is synonymous with financial gain... with others, financial loss. It is an aspect of the financial sector that the average American knows little about. One of the biggest reasons for this unfamiliarity can be broken down to one factor: Fear. There are lots of things to be afraid of in life, but the reason for most fears is just simply not understand the object of the fear, in this case trading. Most people look at the stock market and financial decisions and want to run and hide. The fear of making a mistake is so inherent that they do not make a choice which in reality is a choice all its own. Read More...


TradeLog contains powerful filters that are often overlooked by software users. Learning to use these filters can be practical and exciting. You can tap into virtually endless possibilities for filtering your trade history data, and then use that filtered data for analysis and reporting. In this series of TradeLog Tips we'll show you how to use the various filters. The first one we will highlight is the Find>Ticker filter function. Read More...


Many people assume that trading during retirement is a desirable option purely because of the financial profits. Trading during retirement allows one ample time to keep up with financial news, potential stocks to pick up and general trading topics in order to plan and execute a solid strategy, and thus make the most of your investments. If this pursuit fits your personal interests and passions, consider the following compelling reasons to continue or learn to trade during retirement. Read More...


It is a story our support team hears too often: “my computer crashed and I lost my TradeLog files”. We cringe when we hear this because we know the answer to our next question is often not positive: did you keep a backup of your files? Read More...


More and more people have been tapping into their IRAs in order to finance trading and investment plans. There are a number of companies now promoting structures such as “Self-Directed IRA-Owned LLC” or “Custodian IRA-Owned Trusts”. While those companies may provide online education to support these structures, leading trader tax CPAs and attorneys do not always agree with their conclusions. Read More...


In a recent webinar with active traders we did a poll and 97% who responded had situations where the 1099-B may not be complete in wash sale reporting. Often this is because the trader has more than one taxable account, or an IRA account, or he trades option contracts. At the root of the problem are differing wash sale rules that the IRS has for 1099-B and for taxpayers. What are the differences and why is the 1099- B often worthless as a result? Read More...


A vital principle in financial accounting is the importance of verifiable and objective reporting. A major problem with the 1099-B is that it fails to provide verifiable reporting. The 1099-B provides subjective information with limited details. For this reason the 1099-B if often useless to active traders and their CPAs. Why do we say the 1099-B is not verifiable? Read More...


Armen Computing, the makers of TradeLog Software, has published a special report entitled The 1099-B Problem: Why IRS Regulations Have Failed to Meet Cost Basis Reporting Needs. The 25-page report is available as a free e-book download. Why did we publish this report? What is the purpose? To appreciate the answers to those questions let me provide some background about cost basis reporting and the 1099-B. Read More...


Many TradeLog users would like to file their taxes with popular programs like TaxACT® or TurboTax®. Of course you likely know that those programs, on their own, often cannot handle Form 8949 reporting for active traders. That is why you use TradeLog! But how do you e-file with TaxACT® or TurboTax® and use your TradeLog generated Form 8949? Read More...


Traders of option contracts sometimes overlook adjustments that need to be made for accurate tax reporting. TradeLog can make these adjustments easier with a few important functions. Here are three tips for option traders: Read More...


Each year during tax time the TradeLog support team sees reports of greater difficulty using brokerconnect for importing trade history from certain brokers. Oftentimes the problems are a result of heavy traffic on the broker’s servers or the size of the data download. Because of these reasons there may not be much that can be done to resolve the problem, other than to try again later. But here is a tip that may help you if you experience brokerconnect difficulty… Read More...


Some major brokers have taken a troubling position in the way they report wash sales on the 1099-B for short sales. This caused big problems when taxpayers tried to reconcile and understand their 2011 1099-B reports. But it appears some brokers continue to use this baffling and incorrect method, which will cause more tax reporting problems for 2012 tax year.Read More...


Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are becoming more and more popular. Did you know that ETF options can have special tax handling? Some of these options qualify as section 1256 contracts. Under Section 1256 the gains and losses are treated as 60% long-term and 40% short-term capital gains/losses, regardless of the holding period. What qualifies an ETF option as Section 1256 depends on it's structure and whether the option is listed or over-the-counter. Read More...


There are many misconceptions that exist about tax reporting for traders and investors. Here are the top two myths, and the facts you need to know… Read More...


Do you trade futures or index options? If so, then you need to know about newly enhanced support for these instruments in TradeLog software. With the release of TradeLog version 9.3 traders and investors can not only identify section 1256 contracts but also generate accurate tax reporting at year-end. Read More...


As a new year approaches you may be wondering what’s in store for 2012 tax filing. Here is some early information to help you plan and prepare.

The 2011 tax year filing involved major changes for traders and investors including new 1099-B broker reporting and new Schedule D Form 8949 for tax payer reporting. These changes wreaked major havoc as taxpayers struggled to interpret the new reports and reconcile the major differences in reporting requirements. The good news is 2012 tax filing will not involve such significant changes. The bad news is, the same challenges exist.Read More...


An article in last week’s Investopedia.com explained some of the broad differences in brokerage houses. One aspect many investors and traders give no thought to when choosing a broker is the necessary tax reporting. The 2011 tax year revealed disturbing problems as some brokers simply could not provide accurate 1099-B reports for many clients! Read: 1099-B Reporting Problems. Read More...


Yes! You read that correctly: Wash sales in an IRA can have severe consequences! This often-overlooked part of the IRS wash sale rules must not be ignored by active traders and investors.Read More...


Wash sales can happen all year long, but wash sales that occur in December and January are the ones to watch. Why? Because wash sales that happen in December and January can potentially increase your taxable capital gains for the year! In this post I’ll review what a wash sale is and their potential negative effect. Plus, I'll illustrate how to use TradeLog to monitor wash sale effects on your trades.

What is a wash sale? A wash sale happens when you close a trade at a loss and, within 30 days before or after that loss, you open another trade in the same security (or an option contract on that security). The tax laws state that you cannot take the loss on the original trade. Instead, the loss is washed and attached to the cost basis of the replacement shares which triggered the wash sale. In a nutshell, this is a wash sale. We explain more details in our online Wash Sales Tax Topic – including special rules for wash sales between taxable and non-taxable accounts.Read More...


In July we announced changes to our technical support service for TradeLog. Here are some questions and detailed answers regarding these changes that you may be interested in. Read More...


When TradeLog users fail to follow year end instructions carefully, the result is often problems of some sort. From importing the needed data, to reconciling and ending the tax year - doing these steps correctly can make a difference in the accuracy of reports and more! Here are a few tips when it comes to using TradeLog at the end of the year… Read More...


January, 11, 2012

IRS News: Tax Time Tips

The IRS has published some top tax tips to make tax time easier on you. Even though your return is not due until April, you can get an early start now! Here are some of the Internal Revenue Service’s top tips that may be helpful for you: Read More...


Updating your TradeLog software is very important. Here are some reasons why, as well as tricks for keeping your software up-to-date easily: Read More...


January, 10, 2012

Important Tax Dates for 2012

We have put together a list of important dates that affect many active traders and investors for tax reporting. Most traders have a little extra time for filing this year, so check out what deadlines affect you! Read More...


If you've ever had a Negative Shares Error occur in your TradeLog file then you've probably wondered what to do. We have a resource in the TradeLog help file to assist in identifying and resolving negative shares quickly: the Negative Shares Error Checklist. Read More...


October, 04, 2011

Tip: Be an Educated Trader

Why this tip? Trader tax issues are some of the most complex. In fact, many CPAs will admit they do not fully understand the wash sale rule, trader status, and other nuances. It is important that you understand enough about what is required by the IRS, and how to meet those requirements so that you can file accurate taxes and avoid mistakes that could cost you! Here are some suggestions for staying educated… Read More...


September, 01, 2011

Back to School for TradeLog Users

School students and TradeLog users share something in common: upon returning from a brief but a relaxing hiatus, both groups have to reacquaint themselves with the fundamentals of their subjects. To assist in this regard, good teachers provide a curriculum that serves as a guide so the student knows what to expect and how to apply what they’ve learned. Likewise we have provided a guide to necessary TradeLog curriculum for you...Read More...


Traders and Investors: Your daily expenses and activities may be earning you valuable tax breaks. From child care and retirement savings to medical expenses and hobbies, you have many opportunities to save thousands on your federal taxes. Our partners at TaxACT® provide nine valuable tax savings tips we've summarized for you below!Read More...


Next time you need support with a problem in your TradeLog file, here is a trick for best results: use the Send Files to Support function which is built right into the software and found in the Help menu. This function allows you to send our support team the file you are currently working on along with a message about the problem you are having! Read More...


Believe it or not, 2011 is already more than halfway over. Before you know it, tax time will be here again. So the best tip we can give TradeLog users is to keep your data files current - then tax time will be much easier. Here is what you need to do...Read More...


Most CPAs and trading accountants dread tax time! They don’t have the same perks as the average Joe who can file a W-2 in 20 minutes by using a popular tax software package! Instead, trading accountants have to undergo the grueling process of piecing together every trade for the tax year being filed. This is why the pricing of professional accounting services has dramatically increased over time. Of course, this does not mean that you should assume that filing your own taxes is the answer. There are clear advantages to choosing a good professional trading accountant as discussed in the previous article. However, as a user of TradeLog trade accounting software, you can compromise by assisting your CPA in filing your taxes, which can save you time and money!Read More...


Here is a trick to bring the TradeLog Quick Start Guide right to your TradeLog window with just a few key strokes! Instead of going through the Global Options settings every time, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Q to toggle the new Quick Start Panel either on or off. Read More...


For decades there have been qualified accountants available to assist in filing individual and corporate taxes. While many people now use popular tax software to file their own taxes, there are still a good number who rely solely on a CPA to prepare their tax filing. If you are a trader or investor and are thinking of using or currently use a CPA, there are some things you should know that some CPAs don't want you to know…Read More...


Here is a trick to help TradeLog users customize the appearance of reports. Change the way reports view on your screen, adjust fonts, paper size, and edit the name that shows on reports. You can even have your Social Security number or EIN number print on tax reports! Read More...


Looking to e-file your own taxes with an online solution? For best results try using TaxACT®! We have worked directly with TaxACT® to enable you to easily import your TradeLog generated Gains/Losses. Once you have imported you can complete your filing with their easy-to-use online software. Read More...


Its tax time again! What I find amazing is the amount of procrastination that occurs this time of year. Benjamin Franklin reminded us that along with death, taxes are inevitable. And we know every year at April 15th we have to file. Yet, many of us still put it off as long as possible, perhaps hoping it will just go away!

Following are ten tips to help you stop procrastinating and get your taxes done: Read More...


Please note: This information is provided only as a general guide and is not to be taken as official IRS instructions. Armen Computing Ltd. does not make investment recommendations nor provide financial, tax or legal advice. You are solely responsible for your investment and tax reporting decisions. Please consult your tax advisor or accountant to discuss your specific situation.