Losing Money on a Timeshare?

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By Stephanie Auwerter

Q: I bought a timeshare in 2004 for $27,500 and sold it for $7,500 in 2013. Will I be allowed to take a capital loss? -- Gary P., Ohio


A: Sorry. As is the case with a home, car, or boat, timeshares are nearly always treated by the IRS as a personal asset, says Gil Charney, tax research analyst at H&R Block. Thus, losses aren't deductible.

On the other hand, had you sold your timeshare at a profit, the IRS would take a much greater interest in the deal: You'd be taxed on the gain. People paying full retail price, however, rarely profit, since prices typically drop on the resale market.

Buyers can find better values there, says Lisa Ann Schreier, author of Timeshare Vacations for Dummies. But buyer beware: Get proof that taxes and maintenance are paid, and that the title is clear.

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