The process of adding a second owner to an existing single account for purposes of converting to a joint account is outlined below:
1. As the joint account structure differs from that of the individual in terms of account holder information required, legal agreements and, in certain cases, taxpayer status, direct conversion is not supported and a new joint account application must be completed online.
The joint application may be initiated online from the single account by logging into Account Management and selecting the Manage Account, Add or Configure Accounts and then Create Linked Account menu options. This process will allow you to retain your existing user name, password and security device for purposes of operating the joint account. Be sure to request trading permissions and, if necessary, margin status, sufficient to maintain the positions currently carried in your individual account. Note that if your account is managed by a financial advisor or you are a client of an introducing broker, please contact your advisor or broker to initiate the new application (you may need to make arrangments with your advisor or broker for fees that have accrued but not yet paid if the individual account closes).
The joint account application requires Compliance review and approval and documentation evidencing the identity and address of the second account holder may be required. If this is the case, notice as to the required documents and how to submit will be provided at the conclusion of the online application.
2. Once you have received an email confirming approval of the joint account application, send a request from your Message Center authorizing IB to manually transfer positions from your single to joint account. Prior to submitting the request you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.
Due to the manual steps and scheduling required, you should allow a minimum of one week after joint account approval and submitting your request for the transfer to take effect.
1. Note that exchange regulations preclude ownership transfer of derivative contracts such as futures and options. If you are holding such positions you would either need to close them prior to the transfer taking place or request that they remain in your individual account.
2. Prior to processing the transfer, you should make sure to close all open orders in the individual account to ensure that no executions take place following the transfer.
3. The SMA (Special Memorandum Account) balance in your individual account will not transfer to the joint account. In certain cases this may impact your ability to open new positions in the joint account on the first day after the transfer is completed.
4. Elective options such as market data subscriptions and participation in IB's Yield Enhancement Program will not be carried over to the joint account and must be reinitiated to continue.
5. The cost basis of transferred positions as reported in the activity statements will remain unchanged for tax purposes. The cost basis as reported in your trading platform (which is not used for tax reporting purposes) will not transfer over to the joint account but may be manually adjusted.
6. Once the transfer has been completed and assuming all positions have been transferred your individual account will be designated for automatic closure. Note that certain balances such as dividend accruals can’t be transferred until paid, after which they will then be transferred and your individual account closed.
7. You receive any applicable tax forms for the reportable activity transacted in each of your individual and joint accounts at year end. Access to Account Management for you individual account will remain after it has been closed for the purpose of reviewing and printing activity statements and tax forms.
8. IB does not provide tax advice or investment guidance and recommends that account holder consult with qualified professionals to determine any legal, tax or estate planning consequences associated with single to joint transfer requests.