Is there a way to sell stocks with losses after 2018 to count against other gains in 2018?

by Jennifer L. Romberger, CPA, EA | Jan 25, 2019

I had some realized gains from stocks and options in 2018 (all short-term gains). I also have unrealized losses in stocks (long-term). Those unrealized losses were already in such state in 2018. Is there a way to sell those stocks now to count against the 2018 gains?

No. Losses have to be realized (positions need sold/liquidated) in the respective tax year (2018) for the capital losses to be input into your 2018 tax return.

For more resources, check out PICPA’s Money & Life Tips, Ask a CPA, or CPA Locator.

Answered by: Jennifer L. Romberger, CPA, EA, is with Long Financial Group Inc. in Blue Bell, Pa.

The responses are based on the limited information provided by the questioner and apply the laws and regulations at the time of posting. Other options could arise as rules and regulations may change over time, including but not limited to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. They are intended to provide general information, not specific accounting or tax advice; they are not intended or written to be used and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding or evading taxes or penalties under the IRS code or regulations. Views expressed do not imply an opinion of the PICPA, its officers, directors, employees, or members.
Financial FAQs

Search the most frequently asked finance and accounting questions and read the responses from PICPA members. Always consult a CPA before taking action.