The year 2002 was my first year day trading and I just 'dabbled' in it. My losses were not all that great (many would say "Gee, I lost that much in a single day/hour/etc.", but I did have a loss for the year (haven't done the math for exact figure yet, but losses are probably in the $2500-$3500 range). From May thru Sep. I traded one to six round trips per day, all equities, all 100 or 200 shares. Some weeks I would trade 5 days a week, some weeks only two or three times a week, sometimes go 3 or 4 weeks with no trades. Never overnights, always flat by end of day. In October I switched to E-minis, same regularity/irregularity as before. During this entire time I had a regular 'W2' job. I just read this handy topic that seems to cover the basics. My overall tax approach is to reduce hassle and avoid 'red flags'... and I'll not spend lots of tax prep hours chasing $1 savings on taxes, unless I am in a situation where I have to meet certain criteria in order to obtain/maintain a certain status (e.g. full-time, trading-as-my-livelyhood -vs- part-time dabbler as I am right now). So, some pointed questions: 1) I don't see any reason to persue 'trader status' as far as the IRS goes, right? My thinking: Wait until you are making some decent $$$ to transition to this step. 2) As a 'casual trader' can I deduct anything other than the trades themselves (profit/loss)? 3) Since 2002 was a 'losing year', am I even required to bother reporting any trading activity at all? 4) In light of #3 above, what if 2003 ends up being a profitable year with more income and increased trading activity... if I don't report losses for 2002, can I go back and file an ammended return for 2002 when it comes time to do 2003 taxes? Experts to the front please! Thanks, Mr. Toad p.s. I don't mind seeking the advice of a 'tax professional', but I want to at least have a basic understanding of what is a correct approach- I am unwilling to spend large sums of money for totally bogus tax advice.