Easy money: Deducting your tax losses could save you up to $1,000 this year


The autumn's juicy apples and fresh squash will soon give way to the stale processed foods of winter. And just as people like to pick what produce remains as the agricultural season ends, investors may want to "harvest" their stock market losses as the calendar year closes.

Here's the deal: Any taxpayer in any tax bracket may deduct stock market losses of up to $3,000 against his or her ordinary income. In other words, if you've sold stocks at a loss of $3,000 this year, that same amount of your total earnings becomes exempt from taxation. The higher your tax bracket, the more money you save by harvesting losses. Someone taxed at 33% would save $1,000 while someone taxed at 25% would save $750.