Canadian Tax and
Financial Information
Trade and Settlement Dates

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Stocks, Bonds etc.  ->  Investing Tax Issues -> Trade date and settlement date

Trade Date vs Settlement Date, Last Trading Date for 2018

When investments such as stocks, bonds, etc. are purchased or sold, there are two important dates - the trade date, and the settlement date.

The trade date is the day on which the transaction occurs, and the settlement date is the day on which payment is made, and possession transfers from the seller to the buyer.  Effective September 5, 2017, the settlement date, which previously was 3 business days after the trade date for stocks, is 2 business days after the trade date.  This applies to trades of equities, corporate and long-term government bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  The settlement date is one business day after the trade date for call options and put options.  The buyer does not own the stock until settlement date.  This is important when the trade is made close to the ex-dividend date, or when the trade is made at yearend, but does not settle until after yearend.  The gain or loss on sale is recorded in the tax year of the settlement date.

IT133 Stock Exchange Transactions  - Date of disposition of shares (IT subsequently cancelled), was issued in November 1973 to clarify the issue of when ownership was transferred for tax purposes.  Prior to 1973 the trade date had been used, but IT133 confirmed that for the 1974 and later taxation years the settlement date is used as the date on which ownership is transferred to the buyer.  This clarification was necessary for transactions which had a trade date prior to year end and a settlement date after year end, so the transaction could be recorded in the appropriate taxation year.  Note that IT133 did not address whether the trade date or settlement date should be used for the foreign exchange rate to be used for conversion of purchases in foreign currencies.

For more information on the new T+2 settlement date, see Stikeman Elliot's T+2 Settlement Comes to Canada.

Last Trading Date 2018

The last trading date for 2018 for Canadian and US publicly traded stocks will be Thursday December 27th in order to record the gain or loss in the 2018 taxation year.  Canadian stocks purchased or sold after December 27th are settled in 2019, so any capital gains or losses on sale apply to the 2019 tax year instead of to the 2018 tax year.  The Canadian stock exchanges, such as the TSX, are closed on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Tuesday, Dec 25th and Wednesday, Dec 26th).

The US exchanges, such as NASDAQ, NYSE and CBOE, are not closed for Boxing Day.

Canada Revenue Agency Resources:

     - Income Tax Folio S5-F4-C1, Income Tax Reporting Currency

Revised: November 26, 2018


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