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Wendy, the way I understand your description, with the carryback just making losses even bigger, I think you should consider electing to forget the carrybacks and carry the NOL forward indefinitely. I seem to recall this topic came up when discussing your own situation. This election didn't go away with the CARES Act, the CARES Act just made the carryback period five years.

from the linked article:
Section 2304 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act amended Code section 461(l) so that the excess business loss limitation now only applies to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020. Consequently, individuals, estates and taxable trusts may offset their business losses for taxable years 2018, 2019 and 2020 against available non-business income for those years with any remaining business losses treated as NOLs. Section 2303 of the CARES Act amended the NOL carryback rules so that NOLs from taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2021, can be carried back to each of the five preceding taxable years, unless the taxpayer elects to forego the carryback.

And, it's probably too late to mention it now, but doing 6 years' worth of returns, for a delinquent filer, with a sale of a business involved, with carryover losses, really isn't a DIY project. Even for a family member. I would have told her to find a new tax accountant.

Stories like this make me even more glad I'm retired.

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