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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 $3,000 -- or $1,500 if married filing separately. Carry forward net losses of more than $3,000 to next year's return. You can carry forward 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 $3,000 -- or $1,500 if married filing separately.