Setting Communication Preferences

As a convenience for customers who wish to monitor the receipt and content of communications delivered to their Message Center, IB will periodically scan your Message Center for communications which have not yet been read and send an email notifying you of them.  The frequency of these emails depends upon the  priority level of your unread communications, with a notification frequency set to hourly in the case of 'High' priority communications, once every 6 hours where the priority is 'Normal' and once every 12 hours where the priority is 'Low'.

In addition, customers may set their preference for the manner in which the content of these communications is displayed in the email.  The two preference settings available are Secure and Non-Secure: 

1. Secure - under the Secure setting the contents of the communication will not be provided in the body of the email.  The email will simply serve as a notice that the contents of the communication are available for viewing upon log into your Message Center within the secure Account Management application. 

2. Non-Secure - under the Non-Secure setting the full contents of the communication will be provided in the body of the email. While this doesn't require that you log into your Message Center to read the communication, in the event the communication is a response to an Inquiry Ticket you've initiated and you wish to provide a follow-up response, you will need to log in to post that response.



As commercial email is considered a form of communication which is inherently vulnerable to hacking, the default delivery preferences for all communications is set to Secure.  If you wish to change your delivery preferences, you may do so by first logging into Account Management and selecting the tab labeled Support and then Message Cente.  From the Message Center, click on the Preferences link located in the upper right hand corner of the screen (circled in red below).

A Message Preferences window will open which provides you the ability to specify by message type (e.g., Ticket Inquiries/Responses, General Notices, etc.) your subscription election (note that certain message types require subscription) and the available Delivery Modes by which you'd like messages sent. If a Delivery Mode of email has been selected for any message type, you will also be prompted to specify your Secure or Non-Secure delivery election to be applied to all emails regardless of message type.


2009 Gain/Loss Summary Worksheet: General Explanation

Important Note:  The Worksheet has been prepared using IRS guidelines for information purposes only.  It is not intended to replace any official IRS tax forms or schedules; and should not be regarded as an IRS Form Schedule D.

Interactive Broker's 2009 Gain/Loss Summary Worksheet ("Worksheet") provides the capital gains and losses for your account's year-end review.  Investors of a limited number of securities will find the pairing of 2009 sell trades useful.  Designed to aid with your year end reconciliation, the following securities and trades are included: Bonds, Equity Options, Fractional Shares, Index Futures*, Mutual Funds, Short Sale, T-Bills, Tender Offers, and WHIFITs.

A general explanation of the Worksheet is organized below by Parts, Columns, and Totals.

 *Only cash-settled

Worksheet Parts

The Worksheet is divided into two parts.  The period in which you held the position determines whether or not Short-Term or Long-Term applies. 

Part 1 - Short Term Capital Gains and Losses - Assets Held One Year or Less

Part 2 - Long Term Capital Gains and Losses - Assets Held More Than One Year

Worksheet Columns

Each section contains the following seven columns to identify your trades.

(a) Description of property (b) Date acquired (c) Date sold (d) Sales price (e) Cost or other basis (f) Gain or (loss) Codes

1.  (a) Description of property...shows the security symbol, name, quantity, and other information to identify the asset sold.


2.  (b) Date acquired...shows the trade date of your security's purchase. 

Asset Transfers:  IB has entered the date supplied by you through Position Transfer Basis.  If an update was not received by year-end, then the asset transfer settlement date appears. See your monthly or annual summary for details. 

Short Sales:  The box is left blank if the closing trade has not been completed.  For short sales included on a prior year Worksheet or 1099-B, the code ADJ is entered.

3.  (c) Date sold...shows the trade date of your security's sale.

4.  (d) Sales price...shows the gross security sale price, net of commissions. 

Option Adjustments:  For exercised call options, the writer's sale proceeds have been increased by the amount received for the call. For exercised put options, the holder's sale proceeds have been reduced by the cost of the put. See IRS Pub. 550, page 57, for details.  For expired options, an amount of 0.00 is entered, followed by the Code "Ep".

5.  (e) Cost or other basis...shows the total price paid for your security, plus commissions.

Corporate Actions:  Adjustments have not been made for any stock splits or non-dividend distributions. See IRS Pub. 550, page 44, for details.

Mutual Funds:  IB does not use an average basis for mutual funds. The First In, First Out (FIFO) method is used.

Original Issue Discount:  The basis has not been increased by the amount of OID included in your income. See IRS Pub. 550, page 13, for details.

Option Adjustments: For exercised put options, the writer's basis has been increased by the amount received for the put.  For exercised call options, the holder's basis has been increased by the cost of the call. See IRS Pub. 550, page 57, for details.

6.  (f) Gain or (loss)...shows the calculation for each security using the tax execution methods First-In, First Out (FIFO), Last In, First Out (LIFO), or Maximize Losses (ML). 

Loss: Negative amounts are identified in parentheses.  For example, a loss of $2,000.00 displays as (2,000.00).

Tax Method:  If no code appears in the Codes column, then FIFO applies.  The other methods are noted by either LI = LIFO or ML = Maximize Losses.

7.  Codes...shows various trade designations, such as: corporate actions, asset transfers, or option assignments.

Codes and Meanings Table:  The last page of the Worksheet contains a table to identify each non-security symbol used.

Worksheet Totals

1. Subtotal adjustment from option assignment...shows the total amount of all sale proceeds increases or decreases made from option assignments to the assigned stock sale proceeds (see Cost or other basis details above). 

The adjustments, in accordance with IRS guidelines, are added or subtracted in order for the next Subtotal line to equal the amount reported by IB on the 1099-B, box 2.  Please keep in mind that IB does not report any option proceeds or adjustments to sales proceeds from assignments on the 1099s.

2.  Subtotal for stocks, bonds and T-bills...shows the total non-adjusted proceeds reported for each trade under column (d) Sales price for stocks, bonds, and T-bills only.  This amount should equal the 1099-B, box 2, amount. 

1099-B, box 2:  In general, this 1099 figure should equal the combined Parts 1 & 2 Subtotal for stocks, bonds and T-bills figure.

3.  Total...shows the combined proceeds for all trades under column (d) Sales price, including option sale proceeds.

Total Option Sale Proceeds:  Subtract the Total amount of column (d) from the Subtotal for stocks, bonds and T-bills of column (d) to obtain the total proceeds from all option sales.


Click here to go back to the main 2009 Worksheet article.

Note:  Securities classified by the IRS as IRC Section 1256 contracts are included on the Gain/Loss Worksheet for 1256 Contracts.


IRS Circular 230 Notice: These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor.


What’s New for the 2009 Gain/Loss Summary Worksheet


Wash Sales – If you sold a stock or security at a loss, but re-purchased within 30 days the same or substantially the same security, the Worksheet identifies the sale using code “WS” (Disallowed loss from wash sale).
Social Security Number – For security purposes, the first 5 digits of the tax identification number have been removed.
Tax Basis Declaration – Two new tax basis methods, made available January 2009, help identify gain/loss methods for trades.  The optional methods Last In, First Out (LIFO) and Maximize Losses (ML) join the default First In, First Out (FIFO) on the Worksheet.

Select Gain/Loss Summary Worksheet: Considerations for details about the new features.

Click here to go back to the main 2009 Worksheet article.




IRS Circular 230 Notice: These statements are provided for information purposes only, are not intended to constitute tax advice which may be relied upon to avoid penalties under any federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor.

User Name and password management for the Voting Subscription feature


IB Voting provides several forums where clients can express their opinion and vote for their favorite commercial or freelance software tools, programming features and third-party tutors.  In addition, the Features Poll forum allows clients to submit suggestions for future technology and service enhancements and to vote and make comments on the suggestions provided by others.  While there's no assurance that any one suggestion will be enacted, those which generate the widest support via this system tend to receive the highest priority in our programming queue.


To participate in a forum, clients must first establish a User Name and password combination unique from that established for Account Management and trading platform access.  To add, delete or modify a User name or password, you'll first need to log into Account Management and select the Manage Account then Security and then Voting Subscription menu options. From there enter a Voting User Name and password which differs from that which you use to log into your account.  Then enter your account User Name and password to confirm.

If you wish have forgotten your

Voting Subscription password and/or wish to reset your Voting Subscription User Name, you may do so through this same screen by re-entering your choices,

then entering your account User Name and password to confirm

and clicking on the Change button. As clients have the availability to self-manage their password in this manner there is no process in place to supply a forgotten password.

How do I determine which market data subscription is applicable for a given security?

IB provides account holders with a Market Data Assistant tool which assists in selecting the appropriate market data subscription service available for the security (stock, option or warrant) they wish to trade.  The search results show all exchanges upon which the product trades, the subscription offering and its monthly fee for both Professional and Non-Professional designated clients as well as the depth of market variations associated with each subscription.

To access, log into Account Management click on the Tools icon and then the IB Market Data Assistant link. From there you may search by entering any one of the following security product identifiers: Symbol, ISIN or CUSIP. Results may be further filtered by specifying the exchange, Professional or Non-Professional designation and/or the security's currency of denomination.

This tool may also be accessed through Account Management within the page where current market data subscriptions are displayed and where new election may be made. To view here, select the Trading Access and then Market Data Subscription menu options. A link to the Market Data Assistant tool is provided in the upper-right hand corner of this subscription page.

Glossary terms: 

Security considerations following SLS opt out

Account holders who have elected to opt out of IB's Secure Login System (SLS), and effectively relinquish the protections afforded by two factor authentication, are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with and utilize alternative best practice security measures, a number of which are discussed below. 

It's important to note that while none of these measures, on either an individual or collective basis, is deemed equivalent to the SLS in terms of protection and, in fact, are recommended as complementary measures, opting out of SLS serves to increase their relevance.


IP Restrictions:

One way to add protection or a level of security to your IB Trading account while not utilizing a Secure Login Device would be to setup IP restrictions.  By selecting this setting through Account Management you're telling Interactive Brokers that you only want access to your trading account(s) from a specified IP address, or a range of IP addresses. In addition, should you have multiple authorized traders for a given account, these restrictions can be set at the individual trader level. 

To implement IP restrictions you will need to log into Account Management using your security device and mouse-over the Manage Account menu then click on Security and then on IP Restrictions. This will take you to the "Manage IP Address Restrictions" screen. From there click on the Add IP Address Restriction button, select the trader user name from the drop-down list, enter the IP address from which you connect (xx.xx.xx.xx.xx.xx) and click on the Submit button. Note that any updates do not take effect immediately but rather the following business day.

To find the IP address of your PC please follow the below steps.  (Please note that the below will only give you the local PC address. If you are using any type of router in your home network please make sure you use your WAN IP address.   Any IP address that starts with 192.XXX.XXX.XXX is most likely your LAN IP, and not your WAN IP.  You can find your WAN IP by calling your ISP and asking them for it.)

  • Click on the Start button in the lower left hand corner f your screen;
  • Click on Run;
  • Type “cmd” in the Run box and then click enter on your keyboard.  An MS DOS Window will   open
  • Type “ipconfig” into the MS DOS Window and then click enter on your keyboard.  Your IP address will be displayed.

Important Notes:

The IP restriction feature is only intended where the IP address is static, or remains constant.  In certain instances your computer’s IP address may be assigned automatically and in a dynamic or changing manner by your network administrator or Internet Service Provider.  IB recommends that you confirm that your address is static prior to using this restriction feature.

While the use of the IP restriction feature will restrict access to the IP address(es) you specify, you must be aware it isn't 100% full proof against very advanced electronic thieves who know how to spoof, and or mask an IP Address. it should be noted that this feature alone will not necessarily prevent unauthorized access by any hacker having your user name and password along with the ability to ‘spoof’ your IP address.

Securing Your Network

  • Use a firewall making sure ports 4000 and 4001 are open for TWS access.
  • Never use a wireless session (WI-FI) which is unsecured or not operated by you. If the use of a unsecured network (e.g. public Wi-Fi hotspot) becomes necessary, do not log into any financial institution account you may have including your IB account.
  • When logging into the TWS, check the “Use SSL” box on the login screen.  By using SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, all information passed to and from your computer is protected using 128-bit encryption.  Note, however, that checking this box may cause you to experience minor performance impacts depending on the capabilities of your PC.
  • Use antivirus software to identify and eliminate viruses you may have downloaded to your computer accidentally.  As new viruses are constantly being created, you need to update your antivirus software regularly.
  • Use anti-spyware software to detect and remove spyware programs which can collect various types of personal information, monitor your browsing activity and interfere with the control of your computer.


If you have any other questions please feel free to contact IB's Technical Support center. 

How to Deposit Funds Via an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

How to initiate a deposit via an Electronic Funds Transfer

For additional information on how to deposit funds to your Interactive Brokers account please visit the Funds and Banking section on our website

How to Deposit Funds Via a Full ACATS/ATON Transfer

How to deposit funds to your Interactive Brokers account via a full ACATS/ATON Transfer

For information on how to initiate a partial ACATS/ATON transfer/ please click here

For Interactive Brokers tradeable products please visit the Contract Search Engine

For a detailed description of the Full ACATS/ATON process flow please click here 

For a list of the most common causes for ACATS/ATON rejects, please click here



How to Deposit Funds Via a Partial ACATS/ATON Transfer

How to deposit funds to your Interactive Brokers account via a partial ACATS or ATON transfer


How to Deposit Funds Via a Check

How to deposit funds to your Interactive Brokers account via a Check

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