A couple of days ago, I posted this question on the LAW stack exchange:


From a answer to the question, I learned that the $3000 figure became so in 1978.

Originally, my question was two parts: (1) When was the $3000 limit first imposed, and (2) the rationale behind why it hasn't been increased in so long a period of time.

The question became ``hot'', was then closed, and then reopened today in a modified form---some thinking that the second part of my query was better suited here.

So, bearing in mind that in any given tax year, the IRS allows capital losses to offset capital gains dollar for dollar, with any excess loss deductible from taxable income up to $3000. This apparently has been the case for over forty years with no increase in the allowable deduction since 1978---

MY QUESTION IS THIS: Have any political attempts been made to increase the $3000 amount to a more equitable figure? If so, can someone provide some information as to the attempts made and reasons for the failures? Or, has no political party seen fit to try and raise this figure in over forty years? Thank you.

  • Questions about motivations (e.g. why do people do things) are off-topic for Politics.se. Perhaps you could tighten the focus of this question, such as editing out references to your Law.se question and focusing on possible past attempts to raise the limit and the reactions those attempts garnered?
    – Thegs
    Dec 30 '20 at 20:34
  • 2
    Is there a reason for the use if the word 'equitable' in the last paragraph? It is not very equitable to use taxes paid by low earners to subside loss making investments by those with the finances to make them.
    – Jontia
    Dec 30 '20 at 23:16

Have any political attempts been made to increase the $3000 amount to a more equitable figure?

Yes. However, this answer is necessarily incomplete for several reasons, including the age of the source, the difficulty of searching congress.gov for specific bills that address the issue, and finding specific explanations for the failure to pass the legislation.

Is It Time to Increase the Capital Loss Limitation?, March 26, 2009.


Part of the tax plan Senator McCain promoted while campaigning in 2008 was to temporarily increase the capital loss limitation from $3,000 to $15,000 (“McCain Unveils New Economic Proposals,” The New York Times, October 2008). This isn’t the first time such a proposal has been suggested. In 2002, the House Ways & Means Committee even voted to increase the limitation (H.R. 1619). Following is a sampling of recent proposals.

The most recent attempt to increase the capital loss limit appears to be H.R.2021 - Savings Recovery Act of 2009 introduced on April 22, 2009. That change would have increased the limit to $10,000 with inflation adjustment in the following years.

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