26 U.S. Code § 1234 - Options to buy or sell
Gain or loss attributable to the sale or exchange of, or loss attributable to failure to exercise, an option to buy or sell property shall be considered gain or loss from the sale or exchange of property which has the same character as the property to which the option relates has in the hands of the taxpayer (or would have in the hands of the taxpayer if acquired by him).
For purposes of paragraph (1), if loss is attributable to failure to exercise an option, the option shall be deemed to have been sold or exchanged on the day it expired.
In the case of the grantor of the option, gain or loss from any closing transaction with respect to, and gain on lapse of, an option in property shall be treated as a gain or loss from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held not more than 1 year.
The term “closing transaction” means any termination of the taxpayer’s obligation under an option in property other than through the exercise or lapse of the option.
Gain or loss shall be recognized on the exercise of an option on a section 1256 contract (within the meaning of section 1256(b)).
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “cash settlement option” means any option which on exercise settles in (or could be settled in) cash or property other than the underlying property.
1999—Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 106–170 substituted “section 1221(a)” for “section 1221”.
1984—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98–369, § 1001(b)(18), (e), substituted “6 months” for “1 year”, applicable to property acquired after June 22, 1984, and before Jan. 1, 1988. See Effective Date of 1984 Amendment note below.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–369, § 105(a), added subsec. (c).
1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, § 2136(a), inserted in heading “in the case of the purchaser”; designated existing provisions as par. “(1) General rule” and substituted “an option” and “the option” for “a privilege or option” and “the option or privilege”; redesignated existing subsec. (b) as par. (2) and substituted “an option” and “the option” for “a privilege or option” and “the privilege or option”; and redesignated existing subsec. (d)(1) to (3) as par. (3)(A) to (C) and substituted in heading and introductory text “Nonapplication” and “subsection” for “Non-application” and “section”, in par. (3)(A) “an option” for “a privilege or option”, in par. (3)(B) “an option”, “such option” and “subsection” for “a privilege or option”, “such privilege or option” and “section” and in par. (3)(C) substituted a period for “; or”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–455, § 2136(a), added subsec. (b), incorporating provisions of a prior subsec. (c) providing for a special rule for grantors of straddles, par. (1) relating to “gain on lapse” and reading “In the case of gain on lapse of an option granted by the taxpayer as part of a straddle, the gain shall be deemed to be gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held for not more than 6 months on the day that the option expired.”; par. (2) relating to “exception” and reading “This subsection shall not apply to any person who holds securities for sale to customers in the ordinary course of his trade or business.”, now covered in subsec. (b)(3); and par. (3) relating to definitions of “straddle” and “security”.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94–455, § 1402(b)(2), provided that “9 months” would be changed to “1 year”.
Pub. L. 94–455, § 1402(b)(1)(U), provided that “6 months” would be changed to “9 months” for taxable years beginning in 1977.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–455, § 2136(a), struck out provision respecting special rule for grantors of straddles, the paragraphs relating to: (1) gain on lapse; (2) exception, now covered in subsec. (b)(3); and (3) definitions of “straddle” and “security”, such provision now covered generally by subsec. (b) of this section.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–455, § 2136(a), struck out provision respecting non-application of section, pars. (1) to (3) now covered in subsec. (a)(3)(A) to (C) of this section, and par. (4) providing for such non-application to gain attributable to the sale or exchange of a privilege or option acquired by the taxpayer before Mar. 1, 1954, if in the hands of the taxpayer such privilege or option was a capital asset.
1966—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 89–809 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).
1958—Pub. L. 85–866 amended section generally and among other changes provided in subsec. (a) that gain or loss resulting from option to buy or sell property is to be considered gain or loss arising from property which has the same character as the property underlying the option, incorporated existing provisions in subsecs. (b) and (c)(3), and inserted provisions set out in subsec. (c)(1), (2), (4).
Amendment by Pub. L. 106–170 applicable to any instrument held, acquired, or entered into, any transaction entered into, and supplies held or acquired on or after Dec. 17, 1999, see section 532(d) of Pub. L. 106–170, set out as a note under section 170 of this title.
Amendment by section 1001(b)(18) of Pub. L. 98–369 applicable to property acquired after June 22, 1984, and before Jan. 1, 1988, see section 1001(e) of Pub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 166 of this title.
Written determinations for this section
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- Clearly v. Not Clearly Reflecting Income : 2015-11-20
- Option to Buy or Sell : 2015-11-20
- Sale v. Option : 2015-11-20
- Gain or Loss of Purchaser : 2012-04-06
- Hedging transactions : 2011-10-21
- Business Hedges : 2011-10-21
- Option to Buy or Sell : 2011-10-21
- Sale v. Option : 2009-10-09
- Option to Buy or Sell : 2000-03-17
- Sale v. Option : 1999-04-16
- Going Concern Value : 1999-04-16
- Good Will : 1999-04-16
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