The Motley Fool Discussion Boards
Financial Planning / Tax Strategies
|Subject: Re: capital loss vs capital gain||Date: 10/8/2000 4:08 PM|
|Author: Crosenfield||Number: 40689 of 125218|
In doing the capital gains (loss) calculation, first you subtract short term capital losses from short term capital gains and long term capital losses from long term capital losses.
Then if there are left over losses in one section and left over gains in the other, you subtract the left over losses from the gains. If there are STILL losses left over, you can deduct up to $3000 of ordinary income.
So the answer to your question is that it depends on what else you have,
If you have ONLY a short term loss and a long term gain, then you deduct the short term loss from the long term gain. Effectively you are only getting a 20% rate on the short term loss. If you have some potential short term gains, they would normally be taxed at your marginal rate, but obviously you would do better to write them off against your short term losses, and thus pay only 20% on your long term gains.
As the end of the year approaches, it is well to search one's investments for short term investments that could be closed out to advantage. If you have short term losses, you might do well to consider taking some short term gains rather than using the losses against the less-taxed long term gains.
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