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I'm considering selling some shares of a company that has done very well for me short-term (I bought it less than a year ago.). Thus, I'll owe short-term cap-gains tax on it. However, in 2003 I also sold shares I had held for more than a year from another company at a loss. As I unerstand it, this counts as a long-term cap loss. Can the loss be used to offset the gain?

Yes. See this excellent article on how it works. You're in the situation where you have a short term gain vs a long term loss.

Also, if there are losses in 2002 that were not claimed then, can those also be used to offset the short-term cap-gains tax in 2003?

Don't quite understand what you mean by "not claimed" in 2002. You realize a loss (or a gain) when you sell an asset, and it is then reported on that year's Sched D. If you mean that you have a capital loss carryover from 2002's return, then yes, that's still useful for offsetting gains. If you mean that the asset declined in value in 2002 but you still have the asset, then no, it's of no use. You have to sell it in order to realize the loss. If that's confusing, I'm sorry, but your last question is less than clear...

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