IRS/Taxes--capital-loss carryover when no cap-gains or losses

My question is about IRS tax forms for 2017 [I have an extension to file].

In the past few years I had capital gains+losses, so for those years I filled out schedule D which includes a line for a capital-loss carryover amount. I did the capital-loss carryover worksheet and put the result on schedule D.

But in 2017, I had no capital gains or losses—only mutual fund distributions—box 2a on 1099 forms.

Despite having no capital gains/losses in 2017, do I still need to do schedule D in order to keep this capital-loss carryover “current” or alive? I read the instructions but got even more confused.

Thanks for info–

Yes, and in fact you get to take 3000 of that carryover this year.

Are you not using any software to help you at all? If you don’t understand the law behind capital loss carryovers, you shouldn’t be doing your taxes unassisted. At very least have Turbo Tax guide you through the process, or simply dump everything on your local CPA (or if you have a scanner, one from anywhere in the country). They would probably love to have your business at this time of year.

I am not going to be able to give you any more guidance than has already been mentioned, because I can’t see your documents and your description of your situation is inadequate for me to be certain that I would be telling you the right thing.

Great, thanks for info–

I don’t need to “understand the law,” I need to understand the instructions. My situation is so simple that hiring a CPA would be massive overkill.

The $3000 figure is correct but what you are actually doing is taking $3000 of your capital loss (or the total loss, whichever is smaller) and subtracting it (line 13 of form 1040) from ordinary income. It hasn’t been carried over yet so it is technically incorrect to say you can take part of the carryover this year.

I’m trying to understand what you wrote here and how it relates to the OP. Apparently he did have capital losses in previous years (<2017), so should be able to take a $3000 deduction on his 2017 taxes. Right? Assuming the amount carried over is more than $3k. And unless I’m mistaken, Lynn M, you need to use Schedule D to take the deduction.

Yes, correct. I was referring to being able to take a $3000 deduction in the year that you suffer the losses before you carry anything over. I apologize if I clouded the issue.