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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Capital loss carry over limit?


Hello, my question relates to how many years I can carry over my capital loss. I am single. I read that I can claim up to $3,000 per year but cannot carry past two years from the original loss.

So for instance, if I posted a loss of $55,000 in 2012. Broke even in 2013, but posted a gain of $55,000 in 2014. Will I be taxed on my $55,000 gain or does the loss carry over and pay no tax on it?

Or does the $3,000 keep carrying over for the next 15+ years? This is all a bit confusing. Thank you!


Thanks for your question.

The loss carries forward indefinitely until it is used up or the taxpayer dies.  You apply the loss to capital gains +$3,000 each year.

So in your example you take $3,000 loss in 2012, $3,000 loss in 2013, and use the remaining $49,000 in 2014 to offset the $55,000 gain.  If you don't have the gain, keep applying $3,000 loss each year.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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