In preparing for retirement, ifyou sell a losing stock to take the taxloss, IRS rules say you can't buy thesame stock within 30 days before orafter the sale. If you do, it becomeswhat's known as a wash sale, andthe IRS won't let you deduct theloss. Like almost anything that hasto do with the tax code, this isn't assimple as it sounds. One issue thatthe IRS continues to debate iswhether selling a losing stock from ataxable account and buying it foryour IRA is a wash sale. Some taxexperts, including IRS staffers, sayyes; others say no. Even if your loss can't be writtenoff, you don't lose it forever—itgets added to the cost basis of theshares you buy.