I tried day trading after losing my job. With a $25k initial investment, I traded heavily for a few months using margin. I was up about $5k and then took a huge hit on some options when the market corrected. The loss was about $16k.

During the course of those months, I exchanged (I know, I was surprised too) about 14M worth of stocks and incurred about $750k of wash rule trades.

Will I be super in trouble at tax time, or will I be ok since I show a loss anyway?

2 Answers 2


If at year end, you held no positions and did not buy any of the stocks sold at a loss early in the year (within 30 days of the sale at a loss), it’s over. The washes all are accounted for. A lot of calculations, but you have a net loss. $3000/year against ordinary income or against new gains.


There's insufficient information to determine if you will be super in trouble at tax time.

When you have a wash sale occurs in a non sheltered account, the loss is added to the cost basis of the replacement shares and some/all of the loss is carried forward with each subsequent transaction until the position has been fully liquidated for more than 30 days. The question becomes one of whether you have carry forwards that cross over into the subsequent tax year.

For example, if last March you had a $100k realized loss and within 30 days you bought back the identical position (replacement shares), you'd have a $100k carry forward wash sale violation. If you closed the replacement share position by the end of the year with no subsequent violation within 30 days, although you had a $100k wash sale, you would get to deduct the loss on last year's taxes. If you did not close the replacement share position in 2020 then you'd be tax liable for any gains and would have to carry that realized loss forward into 2021.

Your broker's end of year tax forms should indicate how much of your wash sales are deductible in 2020 and how much must be carried forward. The latter is what gives you a tax burden headache.

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