A straddle is not subject to the loss deferral rules for straddles if both of the following are true.
◎All of the offsetting positions consist of one or more qualified covered call options and the stock to be purchased from you under the options.
◎The straddle is not part of a larger straddle. But see Special year-end rule, later, for an exception.
A qualified covered call option is any option you grant to purchase stock you hold (or stock you acquire in connection with granting the option), but only if all of the following are true.
◎The option is traded on a national securities exchange or other market approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
◎The option is granted more than 30 days before its expiration date.
For covered call options entered into after July 28, 2002, the option is granted not more than 12 months before its expiration date or satisfies term limitation and qualified benchmark requirements published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin.
◎The option is not a deep-in-the-money option.
◎You are not an options dealer who granted the option in connection with your activity of dealing in options.
◎Gain or loss on the option is capital gain or loss.
A deep-in-the-money option is an option with a strike price lower than the lowest qualified benchmark (LQB). The strike price is the price at which the option is to be exercised. Strike prices are listed in the financial section of many newspapers.
The LQB is the highest available strike price that is less than the applicable stock price. However, the LQB for an option with a term of more than 90 days and a strike price of more than $50 is the second highest available strike price that is less than the applicable stock price.
The availability of strike prices for equity options with flexible terms does not affect the determination of the LQB for an option that is not an equity option with flexible terms.
The applicable stock price for any stock for which an option has been granted is:
1. The closing price of the stock on the most recent day on which that stock was traded before the date on which the option was granted, or
2. The opening price of the stock on the day on which the option was granted, but only if that price is greater than 110% of the price determined in (1).
If the applicable stock price is $25 or less, the LQB will be treated as not less than 85% of the applicable stock price. If the applicable stock price is $150 or less, the LQB will be treated as not less than an amount that is $10 below the applicable stock price.