CFD Corporate Actions

Delivery, Exercise and Corporate Actions


CFD Corporate Actions

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

61.0% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR.

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

CFDs Corporate Actions

Notice regarding US IRS rule 871 (m)

From January 1, 2017 IB is obliged to withhold tax on long dividends related to US Share CFDs, reflecting the rate applicable to the country of residence of each investor. In the past IB paid dividend-taxes on its hedges and passed on the resulting net dividend to customers regardless of their domicile. In other words all customers received the tax treaty rate applicable to IB.

The withholding requirement only applies to positions opened after January 1, 2017. Positions opened prior to January 1 will not incur any withholding or other adjustment for tax.

Index CFDs are exempt from the new US withholding requirement. IB will therefore pay dividends on US index CFDs gross, without withholding or the previously applied tax adjustment.

For clarity, any non-US Share and Index CFDs will continue to pay net dividends based on the applicable IB rate.

Index CFDs


Non-US Indices

The dividends are reflected as a cash adjustment based on the ordinary dividends paid by the constituents of price indexes. The adjustment will reflect applicable tax treaty rates. Dividends are accrued on the ex-date for the underlying share, and settled on the paydate. No payments or tax adjustments are made for total return indices.

US Indices

IB CFDs based on US indices pay dividends gross, without withholding or other adjustments for tax.

The broker will make a cash adjustment based on the ordinary dividends paid by the constituents of each index. Dividends are accrued on the ex-date for the underlying share, and settled on the paydate.

Corporate Actions

IB does not adjust index CFDs for corporate actions. Corporate actions affecting index constituents are reflected directly in the index level.

Share CFDs

Dividends & Corporate Actions Summary

In the event of a corporate action on the underlying security of a CFD, the broker will generally reflect the economic effect of the corporate action for CFD holders as if they had been holding the underlying security. This will be done through a cash adjustment, a position adjustment, delivery of a new security or CFD, or a combination of these. In cases where the corporate action is complex and the broker is unable to determine an accurate adjustment, the CFD position may be closed out prior to the ex-date.

Examples of Corporate Action Handling

Types Adjustment
Ordinary Dividends Cash adjustment
Special Dividend Cash adjustment
Stock Dividend/ Bonus Issue Position adjustment1
Tradable Rights Issue Cash adjustment. The value of the right is credited on the ex-date reflecting the opening price for the right.
Stock Buy-Back CFD holders do not participate. Termination2 commonly applied.
Stock Split Position adjustment1
Spin-Off/ De-merger Position in new CFD, position in new security, cash adjustment, or combination of these. Termination2 commonly applied.
Mergers, Acquisitions, Tenders Position in new CFD, position in new security, cash adjustment, or combination of these. Termination2 commonly applied.
Statutory Consolidation (New Entity) Position in new CFD, position in new security, cash adjustment, or combination of these. Termination2 commonly applied.


  1. See fractional share handling.
  2. See position termination handling.

Specific Handling

Fractional Share Adjustments

In the event the corporate action results in a fractional position, the fractional component may be represented as a cash adjustment independent of the handling for the non-fractional position. The adjustment value will equal the fractional position times the adjusted closing price on the day prior to the ex-date.

Dividend Cash Flow

A dividend adjustment is recorded as a dividend payable/receivable when a share passes its ex-dividend date, and is paid/charged on the matching payable date as the underlying.

If a choice between cash and stock is offered (choice dividend), IB will reflect the dividend as a cash adjusting payment-in-lieu-of-dividend ("PIL") for long CFD position holders. Short position holders may be charged a PIL, or new shares with a fractional share handling in cash.

Dividends are generally applied net of withholding tax to long positions, and on a gross basis to short positions. The table below shows the applicable rates for long CFD positions. Please note the following:

For non-US Share CFDs

  • For each CFD position IB carries an equal position in the underlying share as a hedge. When the underlying share pays a dividend, IB receives that dividend and passes on its economic value to the CFD holder.
  • Since the actual dividend is paid to IB, the tax rate is the rate that applies to IB, in most cases the relevant treaty rate. I.e. the CFD client's country of residence has no bearing on the rate.
  • IB passes on the net dividend to CFD clients as a payment-in-lieu-of-dividend, which is not a dividend for tax-purposes. Clients should consult their tax advisers to understand the implications in their individual countries and circumstances

For US Share CFDs

  • While IB continues to carry an equal position in the underlying share as a hedge, it no longer pays the tax on the dividend itself. Rather it passes on the dividend gross to clients and withholds tax at a rate that applies to each client individually, based on the client’s country of residence and applicable treaties, if any
  • The withholding is an actual tax withholding and clients should consult their tax advisers as to the implications of the change
  • In effect, for US Share CFDs clients will pay the same tax on dividends as they would holding the physical share

Dividend Country Rate
Australia 0%
Belgium 15%
Brazil 0%
China 10%
Czech Republic 15%
Denmark 15%

Dividend Country Rate
Finland 15%
France 15%
Germany 15%
Hong Kong 0%
Japan 10%
Netherlands 15%

Dividend Country Rate
Norway 15%
Portugal 15%
Singapore 0%
South Africa 15%
Spain 15%
Sweden 15%

Dividend Country Rate
Switzerland 35%
United Kingdom 0%
United States Individual Rate

Actions typically leading to Position Changes (splits, reverse splits, buybacks, spin-offs, mergers)
  • When a corporate action results in the creation of new shares in the existing underlying, The broker will create additional CFDs (position adjustment) in a manner consistent with a position holding in the underlying stock.
  • If the corporate action results in the creation of a new listed entity, and the broker determines in its sole discretion that it will include the new shares in its general CFD offering, the broker will also in this case effect the corporate action by creating additional CFDs on the new security.
  • In the event of a buyback or other partial tender, the action will be effected to reflect the performance of an investor in the underlying stock, including a position adjustment for the residual position, a cash adjustment for accepted positions, where the acceptance rate is based on the announced acceptance rate by the issuing Company for all shareholders. Short positions may be assigned CFDs.

Position Terminations

In cases where the broker is unable, in its sole judgment, to determine a fair and transparent handling of a corporate action, the broker will terminate the CFD prior to the ex date for the event. The broker will announce terminations at the earliest opportunity. Position closeouts will be valued at the closing price on the termination date.

General Termination Conditions of CFD Contract

The broker may terminate the CFD contract for a variety of reasons if, in its sole judgment, it determines that the CFD is no longer an adequate representation of the economics of the underlying instrument. This may occur in the case of certain corporate actions as noted above. The broker may also terminate the CFD in other circumstances, for example (without limitation) in case of illiquidity in the underlying asset, absence of sufficient and appropriate borrow ability in the underlying asset, insolvency, dissolution or delisting of the underlying security.

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