The wash-sale rule is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation established to prevent a taxpayer from taking a tax deduction for a security sold in a wash sale. The rule defines a wash sale as one that occurs when an individual sells or trades a security at a loss and, within 30 days before or after this sale, buys a “substantially identical” stock or security, or acquires a contract or option to do so. A wash sale also results if an individual sells a security, and the individual’s spouse or a company controlled by the individual buys a substantially equivalent security.
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