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My brokerage told me it does but I can't understand how. Can anyone help clarify?

An IRA is a tax-exempt entity, so capital gains and losses are moot for tax purposes. Thus the wash sale rule is moot for transactions within the IRA.

Perhaps the broker's rep was thinking, or perhaps you were asking, about a situation when you sell for a loss in a taxable account and replace the stock within 30 days in your IRA. In that case the wash sale rule does prevent you from recognizing the loss on Schedule D. Since the loss got transfered to the basis of the stock in the IRA, which is irrelevant to determining taxable withdrawals from the IRA, you will never get any tax benefit from the loss.

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