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Wash-Sale Rule

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The Importance of Understanding the Wash-Sale Rule in Tax-Loss Harvesting

One area that requires particular attention is the wash-sale rule, which can have significant tax implications for your investment.

What is the Wash-Sale Rule?

·       A wash sale occurs when an investor sells or trades a security at a loss and, within 30 days before or after the sale, buys back the same or a substantially identical stock or security.

·       The wash-sale rule was created to prevent investors from creating an investment loss for the benefit of a tax deduction while essentially maintaining their position in the security.

·       The rule also applies if an individual sells a security, and the individual’s spouse or a company controlled by the individual buys a substantially equivalent security during the 61-day wait period.

How the Wash-Sale Rule Affects Your Investments:

·       The wash-sale rule affects all types of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and options. Any investments that generate capital gains are subject to the wash-sale rule.

·       When a wash sale occurs, the loss from the initial transaction is disallowed by the IRS, and the loss is added to the cost basis for the repurchased investment. Therefore, the losses are temporarily suspended for tax deduction purposes until investors decide to sell the investment at a later date.

·       If an investor sells an investment at a loss and does not repurchase a similar investment within 30 days, they can claim the loss for that year.

·       Currently cryptocurrency transactions are not subject to the wash-sale rule because cryptocurrencies are considered property by the IRS, not securities.

How to Avoid Triggering a Wash Sale:

·       Investors can avoid triggering a wash sale by investing in the same sector or buying securities that are substantially different from the ones sold.

·       Finding a replacement investment can be easy if an investor primarily invests with ETFs, mutual funds, and index funds.

·       Working with a professional tax advisor can also help investors navigate the complexities of the wash-sale rule and minimize tax liabilities.

Understanding the ins and outs of wash sales and the wash-sale rule can make a significant difference in your investment taxes:

·       Investors who understand the wash-sale rule can make the most of legitimate tax breaks without losing any investment opportunities.

·       They can receive tax deductions they’ve planned for instead of having them disallowed.

·       Investors who understand the rule’s waiting period and important end-of-year tax dates have enough time to work with the rule and make informed investment decisions.

At DimovTax, we’re here to help you keep more money in your pocket and improve investment returns. If you have any doubts or would like some help with your taxes, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help.

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