How do you apply your net capital losses of other years to 2021?

You can apply your net capital losses of other years to your taxable capital gains in 2021. To do this, claim a deduction on line 25300 of your 2021 income tax and benefit return. However, the amount you claim depends on when you incurred the loss. This is because the inclusion rate used to determine taxable capital gains and allowable capital losses has changed over the years. 

Note

When you apply a net capital loss from a previous year to the current year's taxable capital gain, it will reduce your taxable income for the current year. However, your net income, which is used to calculate certain credits and benefits, will not change.

You have to apply net capital losses of earlier years before you apply net capital losses of later years. For example, if you have net capital losses in 1994 and 1996 and want to apply them against your taxable capital gains in 2021, you have to follow a certain order. First apply your 1994 net capital loss, then apply your 1996 net capital loss against it. Keep separate balances of unapplied net capital losses for each year. This will help you keep track of your capital losses.

You can use a net capital loss of a previous year to reduce a taxable capital gain in 2021. If the inclusion rates for the 2 years are different, you must adjust the amount of the net capital loss to match the inclusion rate for 2021. Determine the adjustment factor by dividing the inclusion rate for 2021 by the inclusion rate for the year in which the loss arose.

Example

Andrew realized a capital gain of $5,000 in 2021. Andrew’s taxable capital gain for 2021 is $2,500 ($5,000 × 50%). Andrew has a net capital loss of $1,000 from 1999 to apply against his taxable capital gain of $2,500. Since the inclusion rate in 1999 was 75%, he calculates the adjustment factor as follows:

A ÷ B = 50% ÷ 75% = 66.6666%

Where

A = Inclusion rate for the year of which the loss is applied

B = Inlcusion rate of the year in which the loss arose


To determine the net capital loss he can carry forward to 2021, Andrew multiplies the adjustment factor by the net capital loss for 1999:

Net capital loss for carryforward

= Adjustment factor × net capital loss

= 66.6666% × $1,000

= $666.66

Andrew claims the adjusted net capital loss of $666.66 on line 25300 against his taxable capital gain of $2,500 reported on line 12700 of his 2021 income tax and benefit return.

Completing your return

To apply your net capital losses of other years against your taxable income, enter the amount you are claiming as a deduction on line 25300 of your 2021 income tax and benefit return.

Special rules apply if you have a balance of unapplied net capital losses from before May 23, 1985. Before claiming your deduction, see Losses incurred before May 23, 1985.

If you do not have a balance of unapplied net capital losses from before May 23, 1985, and your 2020 notice of assessment or reassessment shows that you have unapplied net capital losses of other years or a 2020 net capital loss, you can use the following chart to determine your net capital losses of other years that you can apply to 2021:

Chart 4 - Applying net capital losses of other years to 2021

1. Total unapplied net capital losses available from before 2020 (from your 2020 notice of assessment or reassessment)

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 1

2. Your 2020 net capital loss (from your 2020 notice of assessment or reassessment)

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 2

3. Line 1 plus Line 2

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 3

4. Your 2021 taxable capital gains (from line 12700 of your 2021 income tax and benefit return)

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 4

5. Enter the amount from line 3 or line 4, whichever is less

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 5

6. You can apply all, or part of, the amount on line 5 against your taxable capital gains in 2021. Enter on line 6 the amount of losses you want to claim and enter this amount on line 25300 of your 2021 income tax and benefit return.

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 6

7. Balance of unapplied net capital losses of other years not used to reduce taxable capital gains and available to carry forward to future years (line 3 minus line 6)

$ Blank space for dollar value
Line 7

For more information on determining your net capital losses of other years that you can apply to 2021 and your unapplied balance that you can carry forward to future years, see Determining your net capital losses of other years you can apply against 2021.

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