OTC Options on Major Currencies May Be Marked-to-Market for Tax Purposes

In Wright v. Commissioner, a recent court decision that came as a surprise to many, the Sixth Circuit held that over-the-counter (OTC) options on so-called “major” currencies should be marked-to-market for U.S. federal income tax purposes. This could have significant consequences for investment funds that take positions in options of this type. In a guest article, John Kaufmann of Greenberg Traurig discusses the Wright case; the applicable regulations and legislative history; and the decision’s potential implications for hedge fund managers who take positions in OTC options on major currencies. For additional insight from Kaufmann, see our two-part series on “The New Section 871(m) Regulations: Withholding Law Applicable to Non-U.S. Hedge Funds”: Part One (Jan. 21, 2016); and Part Two (Jan. 28, 2016). For more on mark-to-market accounting, see “Tax Practitioners Discuss Taxation of Options and Swaps and Impact of Proposed IRS Regulations” (Feb. 19, 2015).

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