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Your loss is not useless, why would you think it is? It is a long-term capital loss, deductible on Schedule D.

Uh, because the last time I sold a house at a loss, in the early 1980s when I moved across country, it WAS useless unless I purchased another home within 2 years and used the loss to adjust the basis of the new property. It was very unfair; you had to pay tax on any capital gains from the sale of a house that wasn't replaced by a more expensive one, but you could only use losses to offset new bases, regardless of whatever other sources of capital gains you might have had. So that year I paid tax on capital gains from stock sales, and the loss on my house just evaporated into thin air. The house sale was reported on its own separate form then, not on a Schedule D.

I didn't realize that had changed, because I haven't sold a house since then.

Thanks for clueing me in.


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