Ordinary Loss

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Ordinary Loss'

Any loss incurred by a taxpayer that is not considered a capital loss. Ordinary losses can stem from many causes, including casualty and theft. Ordinary losses that are larger than a taxpayer's gross income for the year can leave the client with zero taxable income on their 1040.

BREAKING DOWN 'Ordinary Loss'

Ordinary losses are not subject to the $3,000 annual limit that is imposed on capital losses; they can be for any amount. Business owners who fail to make a profit for the year can declare an ordinary loss on their returns. Ordinary losses are netted against ordinary income, which is taxed at the taxpayer's highest marginal tax rate. Ordinary losses can therefore offer the taxpayer greater tax savings than long-term capital losses.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has ...
  2. Capital Loss

    The loss incurred when a capital asset (investment or real estate) ...
  3. 1040 Form

    The standard Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that individuals ...
  4. Ordinary Income

    Income received that is taxed at the highest rates, or ordinary ...
  5. Casualty Insurance

    A broad category of coverage against loss of property, damage ...
  6. Recognized Loss

    When an investment or asset is sold for less than its purchase ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Deducting Disaster: Casualty And Theft Losses

    If you've been a victim, your losses may be deductible. Find out how.
  2. Active Trading

    Seek Out Past Losses To Uncover Future Gains

    Tax loss carry-forwards can help reduce the tax burden of owning a profitable fund.
  3. Economics

    The Problem With Today’s Headline Economic Data

    Headwinds have kept the U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest GDP revisions prove it.
  4. Taxes

    What's Wrong with the American Tax System

    American's are highly taxed and we still run a deficit. We explain why.
  5. Professionals

    Advisors: Warn Clients About These Audit Triggers

    There are several factors that may increase the risk of an audit, especially with high-net-worth clients.
  6. Retirement

    Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Social Security

    Social Security benefits are taxable under certain circumstances. Here are some ways retirees can lessen the tax burden.
  7. Taxes

    Employers: Don't Forget IRS Form 941

    Your obligations as an employer include various employment taxes. Use this form to report them.
  8. Taxes

    20 Medical Expenses You Didn't Know You Could Deduct

    To lower your tax bill, be sure not to miss out on these commonly overlooked medical tax deductions.
  9. Retirement

    How IRS Form 5498 Helps You

    If you have an IRA, you'll be getting this form. Here's the useful information it contains.
  10. Taxes

    Top Tips for Minimizing Taxes on Severance Pay

    A look at the top ways to lessen the tax burden on severance pay.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How are realized profits different from unrealized or so-called "paper" profits?

    When buying and selling assets for profit, it is important for investors to differentiate between realized profits and gains, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are spousal Social Security benefits taxable?

    Your spousal Social Security benefits may be taxable, depending on your total household income for the year. About one-third ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do you calculate penalties on an IRA or Roth IRA early withdrawal?

    With a few exceptions, early withdrawals from traditional or Roth IRAs generally incur a tax penalty equal to 10% of the ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are credit card rewards taxable?

    Credit card rewards are taxable in the United States some of the time. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies credit ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Are Social Security benefits taxable after age 62?

    Eligibility to collect Social Security benefits begins at age 62. Many seniors, to collect larger benefit amounts, wait until ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the best free online calculators for calculating my taxable income?

    Free online calculators for determining your taxable income are located at Bankrate.com, TaxACT.com and Moneychimp.com. Determining ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!