DEFINITION of 'Short-Term Loss'

A capital loss realized on the sale or exchange of a capital asset that has been held for exactly one year or less. Net short-term losses are limited to a maximum deduction of $3,000 per year, which can be used against earned or other ordinary income.

BREAKING DOWN 'Short-Term Loss'

Short-term losses are determined by calculating all short term gains and losses declared on Part II of Schedule D. If the net figure is a loss, then any amount above $3000 must be deferred until the following year. For example, if a taxpayer has a net short-term capital loss of $10,000, then he can declare a $3000 loss each year for three years, deducting the final $1000 in the fourth year following the sale of the assets.

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