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I understand from the above that if I loose 9K in 2009 and have no gains, I can only write off 3K. But in 2010 - if I gain 10K, I can balance 6K of the outstanding looses from 2009 against the 10K and only pay on 4K of net gain ?

Is this correct ?

Yep, that's how it works. If you look at Schedule D you'll see that any carryover from the prior year becomes part of this year's reconciliation.

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