The sale of stock for a loss will not negatively impact your 2011 taxes. Instead you should benefit. The loss reduces any taxable gains you have from other investments. If you have more losses than gains, you can deduct up to $3,000 against your ordinary income ($1500 if Single), and carryforward any excess to future years.
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Thanks for your response! I am currently unemployed and collecting unemployment. If I do not work in 2011 and since I file joint with my husband (he is employed), does the $3,000 get applied to our filing?
Yes, if you have net losses of $3,000 or more, you can use it to reduce your taxable income for 2011. You will need to fill out Schedule D with your tax return with the details of the sale.