What is a Taxable Event?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Taxable events are any type of financial transaction that is likely to result in some type of tax consequences for the recipient. Generally, if there is any type of financial gain from the transaction, it can rightly be referred to as a taxable event. Both individuals and corporations will experience a taxable event on a regular basis; in some cases, the incidence of events that are taxable occur several times during the course of a business day.

In terms of business practices, companies will take steps to arrange purchases and sales so that the events will result in the least amount of taxation allowed by law. This can mean paying close attention to the timing of purchases and sales, especially as they relate to the accumulation and sale of company assets. Strategically arranging any tax event so that the event can be offset by other legitimate losses is one approach that is relatively common.


When it comes to investments made by individuals, a taxable event is often associated with the receipt of interest payments of dividends. The investor may also experience a taxable event when selling securities at a profit or exercising options on futures that result in considerable returns from the orders. Just as corporations may choose to arrange the sale of assets to minimize the amount of taxes due in a given period, the investor may also choose to structure the timing for the execution of orders to gain the best tax advantage from long and short term capital gains.

While it is possible to minimize the impact of the taxable event on the overall tax burden for a given period, it is important to make sure all transactions are conducted in compliance with current financial laws that are in effect in the country of origin. This means understanding applicable laws, understanding how they apply to various types of financial gain, and in general managing financial assets to best advantage. Corporate financial officers often seek to manage each taxable event efficiently. Individual investors can often benefit from advice from financial advisors and brokers as to the best way to time any taxable event to create a more favorable tax situation.


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This was very helpful. Thanks.

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