The simple answer, of course, is that there is never a deduction for losses within an IRA. Just as the owner of one is not taxed on gains in the IRA when they are earned, he or she cannot deduct losses inside the IRA when they occur.
That said, for tax purposes, it may be possible to deduct IRA losses if all the funds are withdrawn from all the IRAs a client owns. For a traditional IRA, it means that all of the funds from all of a client’s traditional IRAs must be withdrawn, including simplified employee pensions and IRAs that use savings incentive matches. The client does not have to withdraw any funds from Roth IRAs or inherited IRAs to claim a loss on the traditional IRAs.
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