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Level 4

Is it possible to undo a wash sale?

I sold stock at a loss thinking I could realize the capital loss and still keep the stock if I just repurchased it again.

Then I learned that The Wash rule will not allow me to do that, even though I’ve already rebought the stock.

Can I sell the stock again to buy a completely different stock and to realize my capital loss as well?  Or is it too late since I already violated the Wash Rule?

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Level 20

Is it possible to undo a wash sale?

The loss that you are not able to realize on the sale gets added to the cost basis of the repurchased stock so you'll still get credit for the loss when you sell the repurchased stock.  The holding period of the repurchased stock (for determining short-term or long-term capital gains) is inherited from that of the original stock shares.

You should be able to effectively realize the loss in 2017 if you sell the repurchased shares in 2017 as long as you do not repurchase the same shares again within 30 days.  You can either buy something else that is not substantially identical or wait beyond the 30-day window to repurchase the shares.  (You still have a wash-sale on the original sale and repurchase.  You realize the loss on the subsequent sale.)

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2 Replies
Level 20

Is it possible to undo a wash sale?

The loss that you are not able to realize on the sale gets added to the cost basis of the repurchased stock so you'll still get credit for the loss when you sell the repurchased stock.  The holding period of the repurchased stock (for determining short-term or long-term capital gains) is inherited from that of the original stock shares.

You should be able to effectively realize the loss in 2017 if you sell the repurchased shares in 2017 as long as you do not repurchase the same shares again within 30 days.  You can either buy something else that is not substantially identical or wait beyond the 30-day window to repurchase the shares.  (You still have a wash-sale on the original sale and repurchase.  You realize the loss on the subsequent sale.)

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Level 19

Is it possible to undo a wash sale?

Unless you have two brokerage accounts, your broker will show a Wash Sale on your consolidated 1099-B at the end of the year. You will have to file Form 8949 accordingly at tax time.