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If you sold stock or mutual funds at a loss, you can use the loss to offset capital gains you had from similar sales. If the net amount of all your gains and losses is a loss, you can report the loss on your return.
You can report current year net losses up to 3000 -- or $1,500 if married filing separately. Carry over net losses of more than 3000 to next year's return. You can carry over capital losses indefinitely.
Figure your allowable capital loss on Schedule D and enter it on Form 1040, line 13.
If you have an unused prior-year loss, you can subtract it from this year's net capital gains. You can report and deduct from your income a loss up to 3000 -- or $1,500 if married filing separately.