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There are only 5 trading days left in 2004.
I have just realized that while I have made nice gains YTD
in my 2004 tax return I will have large (150k) short term capital loses.

I'm not sure whether we're talking about a net $150K loss for 2004 or a $150K loss on disposing of your losers. If you don't already know about how gains and losses are netted on the Schedule D, check out the article in the FAQ.

If you are talking about a net $150K loss, you may indeed never use it up. The good news is that for the foreseeable future you'll owe no tax when you sell winners.

Some people think it's wise to sell winner/keepers and rebuy them, thus using up some of the loss. To me it doesn't make sense. You're incurring unnecessary fees, resetting the holding period, and accomplishing nothing for yourself except getting rid of some of your loss carryover. If you leave the stock to your heirs the stepped-up basis from the sale/resale was unnecessary since they'd get a stepped-up basis on inheritance. If you sell the stock somewhere down the road, the loss carryover would be there to keep you from paying tax.

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