Withdrawing Funds from a Closed Account


Clients who elect to close their account must first ensure that all balances (e.g., cash and positions) have been withdrawn or transferred before the account can be closed. Once closed, the account is then restricted from further transactions, however, there are situations where assets may be credited to the account despite it being closed. As disclosed at the point of account closing, cash balances credited to an account after it has been closed are automatically converted to the base currency, regardless of amount, since the trading platform is no longer available to facilitate conversions.

The following article provides background as to how such situations may occur and the steps clients can take to withdraw the assets.


Post-Closure Balances

While it is uncommon for credits to be applied to an account once closed, the events which cause this to happen generally arise from the following:

  • The account was closed via disbursement issued in in the form of a check which the client does not present for payment for 90 days and is therefore cancelled by IBKR; or, where the client requests a stop payment due to loss, theft or non-delivery of the check.
  • The account was closed via an electronic disbursement (e.g., wire, ACH, EFT) later returned to IBKR by the receiving bank. This can occur if the receiving bank decides to reject and return the funds because the client’s bank account is closed or if the title of the account at IBKR differs from the bank account to which it is being deposited (i.e., a 3rd party transfer).
  • A credit adjustment is applied to the account after it has closed to correct an over-withholding of taxes on a prior period dividend.
  • An applicant deposited funds prior to the account being opened and the application was never approved by IBKR or was abandoned by the applicant.
  • The account was closed via transfer to another broker who later returns the assets after the account has closed.


Withdrawing Assets

To withdraw cash, log into the Client Portal, select the Transfer & Pay and then Transfer Funds menu options and you will be presented with the option to make a withdrawal and a list of available banking instructions which you created while the account was open.  Select an instruction that is active and applicable to the denomination of the currency to be withdrawn.

If your account has positions, please contact the broker who returned the positions to request that they be transferred back. Note that you will not be able to submit orders to close positions in a closed account.



Q. What do I do if I don't recall my login credentials and am unable to log into the Client Portal?

A. If you require assistance logging into your account, you will need to contact your local Client Service Center via telephone. Such requests require verbal verification of your identity as a protection from unauthorized users. Contact information is available on our website.


Q. How do I determine the credit balance in my account?

A. The account balance and its composition can be found in your activity statement. Daily, monthly and annual statements are available online via the Client Portal through the Reports/Tax Reports menu option.


Q. Am I able to reopen an account that has been closed?

A. Accounts that have been closed for an extended period or are attempting to reopen solely for the purpose of withdrawing assets are generally not eligible to be reopened. If you intend to reopen the account to establish an ongoing brokerage relationship, please contact your local Client Service Center for assistance.


Q. What happens if I want to withdraw the funds via check and my address has changed?

A. If your account is eligible to withdraw funds via check (only available for US currency withdrawals by customers with a US mailing address) and your mailing address on record is no longer accurate, you will not be able to change your address online. In this instance, please contact Client Services to inform us of your new address and receive instructions on how to upload a copy of a driver's license or other acceptable document.


Q. What happens if I want to withdraw the funds electronically and my account does not already have a valid banking instruction on file?

A. If you currently do not have an active banking instruction on file, please log into the Client Portal and add a new instruction using the Transfer & Pay menu option. Note that IBKR reserves the right to verify new instructions via verbal confirmation and/or submission of qualifying documentation. This verification step is intended to protect against unauthorized transfers to a 3rd party.


Q. The entity which owned the account no longer has a bank account or is no longer in existence. How can the funds be withdrawn?

A. In the event the funds are unable to be withdrawn and distributed in the name of account holder at the point of account closure, IBKR will seek to distribute the funds to the entity owners based on their pro rata share of ownership. Note that this will generally require submission of documentation evidencing the owners and their ownership interests as well as a warranty and indemnification letter executed by the owners that the information they provide is accurate and there aren’t any other owners or creditors to whom the funds are owned. IBKR also reserves the right to request an independent opinion of counsel verifying the accuracy of the information provided.


Q. What happens if I do not act to withdraw assets in a closed account?

A. IBKR will attempt to notify closed accounts of a credit balance using the email address of record. Account holders who do not act to withdraw balances within 30 days after notice has been sent are subject to a monthly closed account fee of $20.  Also note that IBKR is subject to statutes which require that assets in accounts deemed "abandoned" be turned over to the state in which the client resides (or Connecticut if the client resides outside the U.S.). The period of inactivity by which an account is considered "inactive" varies by state, but can be as low as 3 years. See Knowledge Base Article 2599 for details regarding retrieving unclaimed property from the state.

Unclaimed Property

U.S. financial institutions, including IBKR, are subject to state statutes which require that client accounts deemed "abandoned" be turned over to the state in which the client resides.  These statutes are intended to protect consumers who may have lost contact with the financial institution as funds which have been turned over or escheated are then held by the state who, in turn, attempts to contact the owner or their heirs and return the funds.

The definition of abandonment varies by state but generally refers to accounts which have had no activity or contact for an extended period, in some cases as little as 3 years. To minimize the likelihood of an account being classified as abandoned, IBKR will attempt to contact inactive clients and have them simply log into their account, at which point the account is considered active for purposes of these statutes.

If an account is determined to be abandoned, IBKR remit the balance to the state in which the client resides which may result in positions being liquidated.  In the case of clients who reside outside the U.S., the funds will be remitted to IBKR's state of incorporation, Connecticut.

Once funds have been escheated to a state, they cannot be retrieved by or through IBKR. Clients, however, may directly claim the assets from the state to which they were escheated.  Most states maintain a public website which allows one to search their unclaimed property database and initiate a claim for assets. In addition, the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators maintains a website containing links to each of the individual state's databases: www.unclaimed.org.


Security Device Replacement Charge

Account holders logging into their account via IBKR's Secure Login System are issued a security device, which provides an additional layer of protection to that afforded by the user name and password, and which is intended to prevent online hackers and other unauthorized individuals from accessing their account. While IBKR does not charge any fee for the use of the device, certain versions require that the account holder return the device upon account closing or incur a replacement fee.  Existing account holders are also subject to this replacement fee in the event their device is lost, stolen or damaged (note that there is no fee to replace a device returned as a result of battery failure). 

In addition, while IBKR does not assess a replacement fee unless a determination has been made that the device has been lost, stolen, damaged or not returned, a reserve equal to the fee will placed upon the account upon issuance of the device to secure its return.  This reserve will have no effect upon the equity of the account available for trading, but will act as limit to full withdrawals or transfers until such time the device is returned (i.e., cannot withdraw the reserve balance).

Outlined below are the replacement fee associated with each device.

Security Code Card1 $0.001
Digital Security Card + $20.00 

For instructions regarding the return of security devices, please see KB975


1 The Security Code Card is not required to be returned upon account closing and may be destroyed and discarded once remaining funds have been returned and the account has been fully closed. Access to Client Portal after closure for purposes of viewing and retrieving activity statements and tax documents is maintained using solely the existing user name and password combination. This type of two-factor security is no longer being issued.












セキュアログイン・システムをお使いのお客様はディバイスの返却が必要となります。ディバイスの返却がされていない状態ですと、お口座の現金残高より150ドル分が返却されるまでの間ホールドの状態になります。詳細は、英語になりますが、以下リンクをご参照ください。 なお、セキュリティ・コードカードの返却は必要ございません。









Closing FX Positions Denominated in a Settlement Currency

Price quoting for Forex pairs on IdealPro is subject to an industry convention whereby the relationship between the first pair (transaction currency) and second pair (settlement currency) is fixed and cannot be inverted.  Considering, for example, pairs involving the USD, the following are examples where the USD is listed as the transaction currency: USD.CAD, USD.JPY and USD.CHF.  Similarly, the GBP.USD, EUR.USD and AUD.USD are examples where the USD is listed as the settlement currency (a complete listing of quoting conventions for pairs executable via IdealPro can be found by typing IdealPro into the IB website search engine). 

These quoting conventions introduce special considerations when one is attempting to close out a specific cash balance denominated in a settlement currency which, based upon the current quote, may not be able to be closed out in its entirety.  To illustrate, assume the following transactions: 

Day 1: Account holder maintaining USD 300,000 in a USD base currency account buys 10,000 shares of stock XYZ which is denominated in CAD at a price of 50.00.  Also assume that the account holder does not convert USD into CAD prior to the stock purchase and therefore borrows the CAD necessary to settle the trade from IB. The USD.CAD closes at 1.0526 and XYZ at CAD 50.00 (no unrealized gain or loss). The end of day account balance is as follows:


Position in Local Currency

Position Translated into Base Currency

Cash - USD 300,000.00 $300,000.00 
Cash - CAD (500,000.00) ($475,014.25)
Stock - XYZ 500,000.00 $475,014.25 
NLV (in Base)   $300,000.00 

Day 2: Assume no trade activity, the USD.CAD closes that day at 1.0309 and XYZ closes at CAD 52.00. (unrealized gain of USD 19,400.52). The end of day account balance is as follows:


Position in Local Currency

Position Translated into Base Currency

Cash - USD 300,000.00  $300,000.00 
Cash - CAD (500,000.00) ($485,013.10)
Stock - XYZ 520,000.00 $504,413.62
NLV (in Base)   $319,400.52

Day 3: Account holder sells the 10,000 shares of XYZ at CAD 53.00 and the USD.CAD closes unchanged at 1.0309 (unrealized gain of USD 29,100.79).  The end of day account balance is as follows:


Position in Local Currency

Position Translated into Base Currency

Cash - USD 300,000.00  $300,000.00
Cash - CAD  30,000.00  $29,100.79
Stock - XYZ  0.00  $0.00
NLV (in Base)    $329,100.79

Day 4: Account holder seeks to close out the CAD 30,000.00 cash balance through the sale of CAD vs. the purchase of USD. Due to the quoting convention of this pair in which the order must be specified in a quantity of USD, the account holder is required to determine the USD equivalent of CAD 30,000.00 at the desired trade price.  Assuming the account holder seeks to close the position at the market price of 1.0253 an order to buy 29,259 USD.CAD would be entered which, if executed, will result in a residual long CAD balance of 0.75. The end of day account balance is displayed below:


Position in Local Currency

Position Translated into Base Currency

Cash - USD 329,259.00 $329,259.00
Cash - CAD 0.75 $0.73
Stock - XYZ 0.00 $0.00
NLV (in Base)   $329,259.73

Note, however, that in accordance with IB's policies regarding nominal Forex balances, residual balances of less than USD 5.00 equivalent will automatically be converted into the account holder's base currency upon settlement assuming no subsequent trade activity in that non-base currency has taken place in the interim. This is intended to minimize the actions required of the account holder to convert nominal non-base currency balances back into the designated base currency and also to convert fractional balances which could otherwise not be converted. IB does not charge a commission for these automated conversions.

Cost Basis Reporting


1099 Reporting

Year End Reports

Account Transfers


1099 Reporting 

Statement and Year End Reporting for US persons and entities comprises the following:

1.  Cost Basis:  While the required reporting schedule was staggered, the primary cost basis that will be reported to the IRS includes equities bought and sold after December 31, 2010.  This includes the adjusted cost basis resulting from wash sales and corporate actions.

The future phase-in period for broker reporting includes the assets sold on or after the following dates:

--- Mutual Funds and  ETFS - 1/1/2012

--- Simple debt instruments (i.e. treasuries, fixed-rate bonds & municipal bonds) and options,  - 1/1/2014

--- Other debt instruments - 1/1/2016

2.  Tax Basis Method:  Brokers are required to use the method first in, first out (FIFO), unless given other instructions by an investor.  Changes to your tax basis method may be submitted through the Tax Optimizer.  The Tax Optimizer is launched from within Account Management and is available for stock, option, bond, warrant and single-stock future trades.  

IB offers multiple  tax basis methods, including three basic options:

●        First In, First Out (FIFO) - This is the default option.  FIFO assumes that the oldest security in inventory is matched to the most recently sold security.

●         Last In, First Out (LIFO) - LIFO assumes that the newest security acquired is sold first.

●         Specific Lot - Lets you see all of your tax lots and closing trades, then manually match lots to trades. Specific Lot is not available as the Account Default Match Method.

Tax Optimizer also lets you select the following additional derivatives of the specific identification method.

●        Highest Cost (HC), Maximize Long-Term Gain (MLTG), Maximize Long-Term Loss (MLTG), Maximize Short-Term Gain (MSTG), and Maximize Short-Term Loss(MSTL).

For complete instructions on using the Tax Optimizer and details on the lot-matching algorithms for each method, see the Tax Optimizer Users Guide.

Note:  Changing your tax basis is effective immediately.  The basis selected will be applied to all subsequent trades on the account statements and tax reports.  Updates will not affect previously closed trades nor the TWS profit and loss data displayed.

3.  Gain & Loss Categories:  An additional requirement to the cost basis reporting is the capital gain or loss category.  The gain or loss category of equities is determined by the length of time in which the security was held, known as the "holding period." 

●         Short-Term - Holding periods of one year or less are categorized as "short-term."

●         Long-Term  - Holding periods over one year are categorized as "long-term."

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Year End Reports

The following statements and reports display cost basis information that will be reported on Form 1099-B for eligible accounts.

  • Monthly Account Statements
  • Annual Account Statements 
  • Worksheet for Form 8949

For a complete review of the tax information and year end reporting available, click here.

Note:  Unlike the Account Statements, the Gain & Loss Worksheet for Form 8949 may consolidate sell trades.  The cost basis will be adjusted, as required for 1099-B reporting.


Asset Transfers

U.S. legislation from 2008 included new guidelines for tax reporting by U.S. financial institutions.  Effective January 2011, U.S.  Brokers are required to report cost basis on sold assets, whether or not a gain/loss is short-term (held one year or less) or long-term (held more than one year).   U.S. brokerage firms, Interactive Brokers LLC (IB) included, implemented changes to comply with the legislation.

For more information on cost basis with asset transfers, see Cost Basis & Asset Transfers.

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Disclaimer:  IB does not provide tax advice. 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 international, federal, state, local or other tax statutes or regulations, and do not resolve any tax issues in your favor. We recommend that you consult a qualified tax adviser or refer to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

How can I close out the nominal FOREX positions in my account?

When account holders enter into transactions with instruments which are denominated in a non-Base Currency, the resultant profit or loss along with any interest charges (in the event of a margin loan) will remain in the currency in which the product was denominated until such time the account holder acts to close the currency position(s). This responsibility rests with the account holder as closing the position requires acceptance of a conversion price which is likely to be subject to continuous fluctuation similar to any other financial instrument.

There are limited instances in which IBKR will act to close a non-Base Currency position, including the following:

1. In situations where a margin deficiency exists and the position is closed in an effort to restore margin compliance; and

2. If the non-Base Currency balance is deemed to be nominal. Nominal balances are defined as those below USD 5.00, or equivalent.  Such balances are regularly swept once settlement has been completed into the Base Currency as long as no other unsettled activity remains. Note that balances which are accrued but not yet posted, such as interest debits and credits, are not subject to being swept while in an accrual state.

3. If the account equity is deemed to be nominal.  Here, if the account balance is below USD 80.00, or equivalent, the balance consists solely of cash and there has been no trade activity over the prior 10 business days, all non-Base Currency balances will be unwound and converted into the Base Currency. Note that this logic does not apply to accounts managed by a financial advisor or carried on behalf of an introducing broker.

4. If the account has selected the Close Account option in Client Portal.  Here, all non-Base Currency balances not greater than 1,000 USD equivalents will be automatically converted into the Base Currency.

IBKR does provide an expedited process to assist account holders who wish to close all non-Base Currency positions collectively. To use this process, start by clicking on the Account button at the top of the TWS, which opens up a window displaying account balances including cash positions in all denominations. In the section titled 'Market Value - Real FX Balance" right click on any row to from the drop down menu to select the option titled 'Close All Non-Base Currency Positions'. Upon clicking that link, the account holder will be guided through a series of steps which will create a market order to close any non-Base Currency positions.

NOTE: Commissions are charged on FOREX conversions initiated by the account holder but not on those initiated by IBKR for the purpose of closing a nominal balance as noted above. IBKR will charge a commission if the position was liquidated in order to restore margin compliance.

Glossary terms: 

How can I access historical statements and how will I obtain tax reports once my account has been closed?


After an account has been closed, the account holder will continue to be provided access to Client Portal for the purpose of reviewing and printing historical statements along with historical as well as the following year's tax forms (once issued).  Access is provided using the same user name and password combination in place at the time of closing.  Accounts which were enrolled in the Secure Transaction Program will no longer need a security device to log into their account.

Does IBKR provide for a dormant or inactive account status?

While there is no provision for dormant or inactive account status, there is no monthly minimum activity requirement or inactivity fee in your IBKR account.

While we have no minimum account balance, should the account balance fall below USD 2,000 IBKR is precluded, by regulation, from affording margin treatment to securities positions. In addition, account holders will also be billed for any market data subscriptions maintained and, as a matter of policy, will have subscriptions terminated automatically when the account balance falls below USD 500.

Individuals seeking to close an account are encouraged to refer to our User's Guide to familiarize themselves with the steps and prerequisites for taking this action.

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