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If you sell a stock at a loss today, you will first apply the loss against any gains you recognize this year. Then if there is still remaining loss, you can apply $3,000 against your other income on Form 1040. Anything that is still remaining will be brought forward to 2002 where the process begins again. You continue doing this until one of two things happens: (1) You consume the entire loss, or (2) you die.

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