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<So, can I take the cheaper, escrow receipt, route and get my tax loss on my 2002 forms, or should I take the more expensive, sell to Ameritrade and pay the broker, approach?>
What are we really talking about? How much is the trade going to cost you?

Either way, the costs are associated with the "loss" so you will be able to deduct them.

I would do the clearest and most obvious paper trail: sell and pay Ameritrade the broker rate. Even if it is more expensive, you really want to make this a "final" tansaction and end your relationship with this stcok.

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