- All futures gains/losses are treated as 60% long-term / 40% short-term
Which means that if you're, say, in the 25% marginal bracket for ordinary income, your effective rate for futures gains is
60% * 15% + 40% * 25% = 19%Even if you're unlucky enough to be in the AMT Sweet Spot where the marginal rate is 45%, it's still better to be, say, dealing in gold and silver futures, where the corresponding effective marginal rate is 27%, than to be buying real, live bullion, whose gains are taxed at the "collectibles" capital gain rate of 28% --- for some mysterious reason, this rate has keeps getting ignored in the successive rounds of capital-gain tax cuts (...insert various conspiracy theories about why the federal government wants to discourage ordinary mortals from owning bullion...)
While the $3000 limit for applying losses against ordinary income still applies,
you can carry losses backwards up to 3 years.
Awfully funny how none of this applies to stocks.