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We recently exercised stock options through my husband work and paid off all of our credit cards. We were wondering if you sell a stock for a loss to off set the money from the stock options how long do you have to wait to buy some of that same stock back?

To recognize a loss you have to wait 30 days after the sale to repurchase the same stock. Otherwise it's a wash sale, which you can read about in IRS Publication 550 and the FAQ, under "Investment Issues." There have also been numerous threads on this board, which you can find by typing "wash" in the search box above and doing a full search.

One caution here. It sounds as if your options have generated ordinary income, not capital gains. After offsetting capital gains, the maximum capital loss you can take on a return is $3,000, with the balance carried forward. You can read about netting gains and losses in the FAQ. The best source I know of on options is

Phil Marti
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