Line 253 - Net capital losses of other years

Generally, if you had an allowable capital loss in a year, you have to apply it against your taxable capital gains for that year. If you still have a loss, it becomes part of the computation of your current year net capital loss. You can use a current year net capital loss to reduce your taxable capital gains in any of the three preceding years or in any future year.

The net capital losses of other years generally may be applied against taxable capital gains in the current year. Your available losses are shown on your notice of assessment or notice of reassessment for 2015. Your notice will show your prior-year losses and your current year loss after adjustment. You only have to add those two amounts to calculate your total net capital loss available for 2016.

To use net capital losses of prior years to reduce current year taxable capital gains, claim a deduction on line 253 of your income tax and benefit return. To carry a current year net capital loss back to 2013, 2014, or 2015, complete Form T1A, Request for Loss Carryback, and include it with your 2016 income tax and benefit return. Do not file amended returns for any of the years to which you want to apply a portion of the loss.

The amount that you can claim depends on when you incurred the loss. This is because the inclusion rates used to determine the taxable capital gains and allowable capital losses have changed over the years.

There are two charts that can be used to determine your unapplied net capital losses available to apply to 2016. See the Completing your tax return area below to determine which chart you should use.

Questions and answers

Completing your tax return

Special rules apply if you incurred losses before May 23, 1985, or incurred losses after this date on any disposition of capital property made under an agreement of sale you entered into before this date. For more information, see Losses incurred before May 23, 1985.

If you need to determine the amount of net capital losses available to apply to 2016, read the information under Situation A and Situation B, and then select the appropriate chart.

Situation A - If you do not have a balance of unapplied net capital losses from before May 23, 1985, and your 2015 notice of assessment or reassessment shows that you have unapplied net capital losses of other years and/or a 2015 net capital loss, you can use Chart 4 - Applying net capital losses of other years to 2016 to determine your net capital losses to apply to 2016.

Situation B - If you have a balance of unapplied losses you incurred before May 23, 1985 or you want to keep a breakdown of your unapplied net capital losses, use Chart 5 - Applying net capital losses of other years to 2016, to calculate your available losses. You will have to adjust certain losses you incurred after 1987 and before 2001.

Once you have determined the amount of net capital losses available for use, enter the amount calculated either from line 6 of Chart 4 or from line 13 of Chart 5, on line 253 of your income tax and benefit return.

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