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I am a bit confused about offsetting capital gains.
Is it true that I'm allowed a short term capital loss of any size (in a single tax year) if the net result of short term gains + losses is a gain?
Does the \$3000 limit (used in a single tax year) only apply if I have a net short term loss?
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If you have \$50000 in short term capital gains, no long term capital gains, \$50000 in short term capital losses and no long term capital losses, you can deduct all the losses from the gains, and pay zero capital gains tax.
If you have \$40000 in short term capital gains, no long term capital gains, \$50000 in short term capital losses and no long term capital losses, you can only deduct \$43000 of the capital losses. The other \$7000 in short term capital losses can be carried forward to next year.
If you have \$40000 in short term capital gains, \$10000 in long term capital gains, and \$50000 in short term capital losses, no long term capital losses, you deduct all the losses from the gains and pay no capital gains tax.
Your loss could be long or short term; doesn't matter but you can only take \$3000 against ordinary income plus whatever you can take against your gains. Best wishes, Chris
If you have \$40000 in short term capital gains, \$10000 in long term capital gains, \$50000 in short term capital losses and \$10000 in long term capital losses, the long term gains and losses net out, and you have \$7000 of short term capital losses you can carry forward to next year.

Got the idea? If you look at your Schedule D you can see how the arithmetic goes.
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Just one thing to add to previous poster.

Max claim for one year is \$3K (already stated). Max total allowable claim is over 3 years (right?). Thus 10K in losses would only allow 3 3K annual deductions.

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Max total allowable claim is over 3 years (right?). Thus 10K in losses would only allow 3 3K annual deductions.

Not true. Individuals and other noncorporate taxpayers may carry over a net capital loss for an unlimited time until the loss is exhausted.