Robinhood Trader Faces $800k Tax Bill On $45k In Profits – Here’s How It Can Happen

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Over eight million people opened new brokerage accounts in the first three quarters of 2020. While the thrill of enormous stock gains may have provided a much needed distraction for some during the pandemic, unintended tax consequences are now manifesting for new investors. In one jaw-dropping case, a Robinhood newbie is facing a potential tax bill of $800,000 despite only making $45,000 in net trading profits; the individual also earned $60,000 at his day job. The example reinforces the importance of understanding complex trading rules and the tax implications of certain strategies. More broadly, it should serve as a loud warning for the new crop of do-it-yourself investors.

Robinhood Trader Transacted $45 Million Total Trades With Net Profit of $45,000

The case of the Robinhood trader, who hasn’t been identified, was first highlighted in Morningstar by Alexandra Macqueen. She describes how Brian Wruk, a financial planner, received a text from the 30-year old investor who was facing an $800,000 tax bill. Like many, the investor, who works full-time in insurance, opened a new brokerage account in 2020 and quickly scaled his trading. He had between $200,000 and $2 million in trading volume per day, completing between 10 and 50 trades daily, according to Morningstar.

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