Capital losses are, of course, the opposite of capital gains. When a security or investment is sold for less than its original purchase price, then the dollar amount of difference is considered a capital loss. For tax purposes, capital losses are only reported on items that are intended to increase in value. If a taxpayer’s capital losses are more than their capital gains, they can deduct the difference as a loss on their tax return. This loss is limited to $3,000 per year, or $1,500 if married and filing a separate return. Carryover Losses. If a taxpayer’s total net capital loss is more than the limit they can deduct, they can carry it over to next year’s tax return. Long and Short Term. Capital gains and losses are either long-term or short-term. Finally, if you had a net short-term loss of $2,000 and a net long-term loss of $2,000, the short-term loss and the long-term loss would combine to an overall loss of $4,000. This is the amount that can be used to reduce other income on your tax returnbut not all at once.