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How To Close Interactive Brokers Account (2023)


How to close an Interactive Brokers account online, on mobile app, or on the phone. Fee to delete a IBKR brokerage or IRA account.


How to Close an Account at Interactive Brokers


Closing a brokerage account with Interactive Brokers is easier than you think. With our guide, it will be a snap.


Select a Closeout Method


The first step is to decide on an Interactive Brokers account closure method. The first choice is to transfer the assets in the account to another account and then close the first. Doing this with an outside firm via the ACAT network will close the first account automatically.

The second method is to sell everything, withdraw the cash, and then close the account. The advantage here is that the account is completely eliminated if that’s what you want. The downside is that all positions must be liquidated.


Interactive Brokers Account Closeout with Liquidation


If you opt for the second choice, you need to sell everything (or buy to cover in the case of short positions). The point is that you have to turn everything into cash because Interactive Brokers won’t close an account that has positions in it. Liquidating can be done on the client portal (the website), mobile app, or Trader Workstation (the desktop platform).

Once the account has nothing except cash in it, it’s best to remove it, although an account can be closed with cash in it.

There are several cash transfer methods at Interactive Brokers. On the website, click on the Transfer & Pay tab in the top menu and then select Transfer Funds. This will generate another page with a few icons in the middle of the page. Click on Make a Withdrawal. On the next page, you’ll get three withdrawal methods: check, wire, or ACH. You can select any one of these three to move cash out of the account. There is one free withdrawal per month for any withdrawal method.

If withdrawal by check is acceptable to you, go to the Settings menu, which will be found under the main menu (click on the head and shoulders icon located in the upper-right corner). On the Settings page, find the Close Account link. This will produce a page to request an account closure.


How to Close Interactive Brokers Account


If you don’t want to receive the account’s balance by check, then you first need to make a withdrawal by wire or ACH before heading over to the account closure page. This closeout link is only available on the website. However, it is possible to transfer cash digitally on the mobile app (tap on the More icon in the bottom menu and scroll down to Withdraw Funds).

Please note that a closing account withdrawal by check can only be made in the base currency. Balances in foreign currencies that are below US$1,000 equivalent will automatically be converted to the account’s base currency by Interactive Brokers.

Dividend and interest accruals that occur after an account has been closed will also be converted automatically to the account’s base currency. Furthermore, market data subscriptions will continue until an account is officially closed.

If you have any questions or need any help, a company representative can be reached over the phone during the weekday at (877) 442-2757. On the weekend or overnight, there is internal messaging. Click on the Help icon in the upper-right corner of the site and select Secure Message Center from the drop-down menu.


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Closing Interactive Brokers Account by Transferring


If you want to close your account without selling any assets, a full ACAT transfer can accomplish this. Whenever a brokerage account is moved to another brokerage firm through the ACAT system, the original account is automatically closed.

To get started with an ACAT transfer, you’ll first want to open a new account with the brokerage firm of your choice (it will need to participate in ACAT transfers). It must be of the same type (such as joint account or traditional IRA) and must have the same name on it.

Next, that new account must be fully prepared to accept a transfer from Interactive Brokers. This means options and margin trading must be enabled if those positions are inside the IB account. Also, check with the new broker to see if it will accept any esoteric assets you may have. These include any OTC or foreign securities.

Third, you need to get the Interactive Brokers account ready. This includes closing out option contracts that expire in under a week. Futures, forex, and cryptocurrencies cannot be moved through the ACAT network, so these will need to be liquidated or moved to a second IB account.

Finally, request a transfer with the incoming firm. In a few days, your Interactive Brokers account will be closed, and a few days later your assets will show up inside the receiving account.

If you need to transfer cryptos, forex, or futures, then an internal transfer is your best bet. This is transferring one Interactive Brokers account into another. To do this, go back to the Transfer & Pay tab in the top menu of the website. This time, click on “Transfer Positions” from the drop-down menu. You’ll get a page with some transfer options, one of which is for internal transfers. Click on this and you’ll be able to transfer your assets to a second IB account. If the original account doesn’t automatically close after the transfer, go back to the close account link mentioned above and close it.

Learn more in Transfer Interactive Brokers to Robinhood.


Broker Promotions


If you are transferring your IBKR account to another firm, make sure to check whether that broker offers incentives for opening a new account »


Comments about Taxable and Tax-Advantaged Accounts


Withdrawing cash from an IRA or other tax-deferred account could in some cases have tax consequences during tax season the following April. Furthermore, selling assets inside a taxable account could (probably will) generate a Form 1099-B from the IRS. Be sure to consult with a licensed accountant before deciding to do either.

About the Author
Chad Morris is a financial writer with more than 20 years experience as both an English teacher and an avid trader. When he isn’t writing expert content for Brokerage-Review.com, Chad can usually be found managing his portfolio or building a new home computer.