How To Soften The Blow Of An Awful Investment With A Tax Deduction

If you jumped on a stock tip that sounded great at the time but only led to you losing your entire investment, now is the time to stop beating yourself up over the poor decision. You may be able to deduct your financial folly, lightening your tax load.

The Star-Ledger tells you how to do it. According to a financial planner interviewed in the story, you’ll have to claim the loss in the year in which it occurred, meaning you’ll have to pinpoint when your stock lost the last of its value. If your loss occurred before 2011, you’ll need to file an amended tax return for that year. The IRS gives you seven years to go back and set things straight.

To find out when your stock lost its value, you can try the Financial Stock Guide Service at (800) 367-3441 and ask it to research your stock for a fee. Your best bet is to contact your brokerage first.

Biz Brain: How to claim a loss for a worthless stock [The Star-Ledger]