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Let's say I have a wash sale in which I sell 5000 shares for a \$100 loss. I then buy 3000 shares back. Do I prorate the loss (in this case \$60 of the \$100), or can I carry the entire loss over (the full \$100) even though I bought fewer shares?

I curious if there's an easier way to account for mismatched wash sales when the share counts don't match.
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Since you purchased 3000 shares back you cannot claim the loss on those until you sell them.

You can (and should) claim the loss on the 2000 shares.

Dusty
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Let's say I have a wash sale in which I sell 5000 shares for a \$100 loss. I then buy 3000 shares back. Do I prorate the loss (in this case \$60 of the \$100), or can I carry the entire loss over (the full \$100) even though I bought fewer shares?

Dusty gave you the correct answer, but let me restate it in the same way you asked the question. You prorate the loss. Each share sold keeps its piece of the loss (\$.02). The shares which are washed (3000) have their cost basis increased by \$.02/share (\$60). The remaining "unwashed" shares generate a reportable loss of 2000 * \$.02 = \$40.

Ira
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I think I worded my question a bit poorly. But I understand the prorating. I was just wondering if there was an easier way to deal with mixed lot sizes.
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It has never been clear to me when I can offset a loss with a gain - so I will ask the question.

In the example above, let;s say after adjusting the cots of the 3000 shares by 0.02 cents, I turn around and sell these 3000 shares for a gain of \$200, wouldn't the \$40 loss (from original sale) be offset with the \$200 gain and I would pay capital gain taxes on \$160 dollars?

Are there times when a wash sale loss cannot be offset (fully or partially) by a gain from a sale of the same security within the same year?

Jesse
No. of Recommendations: 1
There are cases where a wash sale can carry across a calendar year.

Wash sales are started by selling at a loss. Selling at a profit does not start a wash sale "window."

If you sell all of the stock and stay out of it for 31 days, then all losses are realized.