Difference between Spread betting and CFDs

small_bites

Newbie
5 1
I understand SB is being marketed as tax-free opposed to CFDs, but is that the only difference?

I'm a novice and looking to have a punt at day trading and want to understand the SB/CFD difference before looking for a suitable broker.
 

small_bites

Newbie
5 1
thank you tomorton :)

It seems a number of brokers don't mention spread betting as being part and parcel with their brokerage services. I've only come across a handful of SB affirmatives but so far user reviews have been extremely discouraging (at the moment a little warm with CMC). A bunch of the ones I've observed only offer CFDs. Does a CFD confirmed broker offer both SB and CFDs account options by default?... or is SB a unique addition with individual account privileges? If the latter, is there a list of "SB account" brokers I can check with options to further refine the search per requirement?

I was meaning to start a new thread titled "help with choosing a broker" but want to research a little more so I can ask all the right questions before disturbing the TW2 resident experts/experienced traders :)
 

tomorton

Legendary member
8,422 1,347
According to the European regulator, ESMA, SB is a type of CFD, so they are both subject to the same regulations on margin etc.. But in the UK SB and CFD are treated differently by the tax man. Firms can choose if they wish to provide both types of account but they are so similar it makes sense that they mostly do. It won't affect your SB experience as a client if the firm offers CFD accounts as well.
 

10pips

1
798 44
Not sure how much of this is true.
SB is tax-free, any large winnings, you wont be able to use this money to buy assets such as house etc.
 

BigDeal

Active member
117 57
SB is tax-free, any large winnings, you wont be able to use this money to buy assets such as house etc.
What do you mean? There are no restrictions if you've won the money fair and square, surely. If you rely on spreadbetting for your income, you almost certainly won't be able to borrow from any reputable lender I guess, but if you've won enough to buy something outright, then why not?
 

Akwin

Junior member
36 3
CFDs and Spreads are both derivatives and can be made on margin - if necessary, margin requirements apply if necessary.
True, and the key difference between spread betting and CFD trading is how they are treated for taxation. Spread betting is free from capital gains tax (CGT) while CFD trading requires you to pay CGT*. Spread betting is also only available in the UK or Ireland, while CFDs are available globally.
 

Akwin

Junior member
36 3
CFDs are short-term leveraged derivative contracts that track the value of some underlying instrument and pay off accordingly. Spread betting involves placing a speculative bet on the price movements of an underlying instrument without actually owning it.
 

Henow1969

Well-known member
311 39
As spread betting involves betting on the view of prices either going up or down, it cannot offer the ability to trade with banks or hedge funds and receive institutional-grade spreads. As CFDs involve trading the underlying market price via contracts, traders can access the ability to trade directly with banks and hedge funds to receive lower spreads and lightning-fast execution.
 

tomorton

Legendary member
8,422 1,347
As spread betting involves betting on the view of prices either going up or down, it cannot offer the ability to trade with banks or hedge funds and receive institutional-grade spreads. As CFDs involve trading the underlying market price via contracts, traders can access the ability to trade directly with banks and hedge funds to receive lower spreads and lightning-fast execution.
This is CFD-marketing guff from Admiral Markets.

How important has the impact of these things been on anybody's trading?
 

ffsear

Senior member
2,252 500
This is CFD-marketing guff from Admiral Markets.

How important has the impact of these things been on anybody's trading?

Yep, literally a copy and paste job from admiral markets website. Not sure if these are bots trying to boost this sites SEO to sell more advertising. I don't know what's going on but this site is becoming more and more unreadable by the day.

Its a shame, so many good posters have disappeared
 
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LuckyMac

Member
65 18
I understand SB is being marketed as tax-free opposed to CFDs, but is that the only difference?

I'm a novice and looking to have a punt at day trading and want to understand the SB/CFD difference before looking for a suitable broker.
Interesting thread. Ill be keeping an eye on this
 

BigDeal

Active member
117 57
To clarify, a CFD should mirror the underlying market, and you will pay a commission to trade it (e.g. in the case of a share transaction). A spreadbet will have a wider spread ie you pay no commission but the broker's profit is built into that wider spread.
As already stated, there is no income or capital gains tax liability attached to spreadbets, but this method of trading is not available in every jurisdiction.
 

Roberto

Experienced member
1,073 19
spread betting can be taxed as income if it is your main source of income.

This is a myth - it's just completely wrong. Not only wrong, in fact, but ironically enough the exact opposite of the reality.

We used to have these arguments in this forum, 10+ years ago.

The same thing was said then, too. It was wrong then and it's wrong now.

The difference between the discussions then and now is that in the intervening period, there's actually been a long-overdue High Court ruling on the subject, which has at long last definitively clarified the position.

The only party ever assessed for tax on spreadbetting profits was someone (the appellant in the case concerned) whose spreadbetting income was part of a wider trading business - in other words it WASN'T his sole income: he also sold trading signals and coaching. The court held that his entire business - including spreadbetting profits - was taxable, and it was also expressly clarified in the judgement that someone whose sole income was from spreadbetting could not be taxed on it (for neither income tax nor CGT).

I don't know where and how this myth started being propagated, but it's certainly disappointing to see it still being repeated even after all these years. Anyone still in any doubt about should confirm their own tax situation, as it affects their own income, by speaking to staff at HMRC's helpline, rather than by depending on anything - however well-intentioned - said online in a forum.

You're welcome.
 
 
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