Is this a wash sale?

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Is this a wash sale?

Postby candj » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:22 pm

Selling total international stock for a loss and buying FTSE all world ex usa. They do have different benchmarks.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby BBL » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:26 pm

If it is I'm in big trouble. :D
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby Peter Foley » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:29 pm

I would suggest going to Yahoo Finance (or some equivalent) and entering in the two MF symbols. Check the top 10 holdings of the two - unless they are a very close match you are probably OK.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby ThePrune » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:17 pm

If you've read the Wash Sale section of IRS Publication 550 , you've seen that there is not clear guidance for index mutual funds. The article Substantially Identical Securites at Fairmark.com has one "smart person's" opinion on your question.

Since your mutual funds follow slightly different benchmark indices, I'd suggest you do not have a wash sale.
Investment skill is often just luck in sheep's clothing.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby SSSS » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:02 pm

As far as we know, no person has ever had a loss disallowed by the IRS for selling a mutual fund & purchasing a different mutual fund. If it happened to you, you would be the first, and you would get to be a very minor Internet celebrity, which would probably more than make up for the inconvenience.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby docneil88 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:44 am

SSSS wrote:As far as we know, no person has ever had a loss disallowed by the IRS for selling a mutual fund & purchasing a different mutual fund. If it happened to you, you would be the first, and you would get to be a very minor Internet celebrity, which would probably more than make up for the inconvenience.

SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) & VFINX (Vanguard's S&P 500 fund) are different index funds from different fund companies, but with the same benchmark. Have there really been no wash sales disallowed between these funds or between other different index funds with the exact same benchmark?
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby SSSS » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:18 am

docneil88 wrote:
SSSS wrote:As far as we know, no person has ever had a loss disallowed by the IRS for selling a mutual fund & purchasing a different mutual fund. If it happened to you, you would be the first, and you would get to be a very minor Internet celebrity, which would probably more than make up for the inconvenience.

SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) & VFINX (Vanguard's S&P 500 fund) are different index funds from different fund companies, but with the same benchmark. Have there really been no wash sales disallowed between these funds or between other different index funds with the exact same benchmark?


As far as we know, no, the IRS has never disallowed a loss in such a case. First, the IRS doesn't know what was bought and only has a vague idea of what was sold (inferred from the 1099R), second, there's nobody at the IRS whose job it is to look up with index various funds track. They rely on voluntary interpretation & self-reporting of wash sales.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby Call_Me_Op » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:22 am

Not even close to a wash, IMO.
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Re: Is this a wash sale?

Postby Default User BR » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:10 pm

docneil88 wrote:SPY (SPDR S&P 500 ETF) & VFINX (Vanguard's S&P 500 fund) are different index funds from different fund companies, but with the same benchmark. Have there really been no wash sales disallowed between these funds or between other different index funds with the exact same benchmark?

No one has found any cases. And people have looked pretty hard.


People spend and inordinate amount of time worrying about wash sales.

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