Italian Financial Transaction Tax (IFTT): Impacts on CFD investing


Risk Warning

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR (UK).

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.


Recent initiatives across European markets to impose a financial transaction tax are being enacted on a country-by-country basis. Italy is the latest country to define its version of transaction taxation (IFTT) which will come into effect on March 1, 2013.

While the tax nominally applies to stocks and does not specifically address CFD investing, the IFTT does apply to the share trading that is used to back the CFD contract, and hence increases the cost of CFD liquidity by the amount of the tax. Other jurisdictions with a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) have regulations which do not create this additional cost for investing in CFDs.

As a result of these new regulations for transacting in Italian stocks, and the implications for costs on CFD investing, IB will pass on the IFTT equivalent costs, which would be equal to the IFTT that would have been levied for transacting in the underlying shares. The costs will be shown as a regulatory expense in your activity statements.

The IFTT applies to shares with market capitalizations in excess of EUR 500 million. It is calculated at 0.12% (12 basis points) on net purchase transactions for a given settlement date. In the case of Italian stocks and CFDs, this would be trade date+3 days.

Scenario A: Buy and sell the same Share or CFD intraday, leaving a net long position

Day 1
Price Value
Trade 1 +1000 25.00 25,000
Trade 2 -400 26.50 (10,600)
Net Position +600 av 24.00 14,400
IFTT   0.12% 17.28

Scenario B: Buy  Day 1, sell the same Share or CFD Day 2, leaving a net long position

Day 1 Volume Price
Trade 1 +1000 25.00 25,000
IFTT   0.12% 30.00
Day 2      
Trade 2 -400 26.50 (10,600)
IFTT    -  -
Net Position +600 av 24.00 14,400
Cum IFTT     30.00