If you buy a call and sell it for a loss of, then buy a put in the same underlying ...
that can't trigger a wash according to very careful study of irs pub 550:
"Buying a put option is generally treated as a short sale, and the
exercise, sale, or expiration of the put is a closing of the short
sale. See Short Sales, ealier."
"The wash sale rules apply to a loss realized on a short sale if you
sell, or enter into another short sale of, substantially identical
stock or securities within ..."
p550 Wash Sales section opens with obfuscating language (I want it changed) ...
"A wash sale occurs when you sell or trade stock or securities at a
loss and within 30 days before or after the sale you: ... (3) Aquire a
contract to buy substantially identical stock or securities ... "
if you only read that 1 paragraph over and over, you can convince yourself irs will claim that it's a wash.
Aha, but if you buy a put, you do not (3) Aquire a contract to BUY substantially identical ...
Instead, you Aquire a contract to SELL!
Selling short is unlike buying long, so I don't believe a wash sale can arise from selling to close a call for a loss and then buying to open a put.
What I want to know is the reverse scenario: I bought a put, sold for a loss and bought a call within the 61 day period. The language in p550 has labelled a put with the general term "stock or securities" which I sold for a loss, then aquired a contract to buy. I have to argue A. and B. above to conclude that selling to close a put for a loss, which is generally treated as a short sale, is akin to buying to close a short sale for a loss ... and so the wash sale rules for short sales apply and not the language in C. above. And then that buying a call is not like entering into another short sale.