Treasury, IRS Issue Guidance on Net Operating Loss Carrybacks

On Friday of last week, the Treasury Department and IRS issued a notice that provides guidance on carrybacks of net operating losses that arise in taxable years ending prior to October 22, 1998.

In general, a taxpayer must first carry a net operating loss back to each of the three taxable years preceding the taxable year of the loss. However, certain portions of a net operating loss may be eligible to be carried back to each of the ten taxable years preceding the taxable year of the loss.

The notice will help taxpayers determine whether a loss may be eligible for the ten-year net operating loss carryback period in light of recent court decisions. The notice provides questions and answers that address what losses may be eligible and illustrative examples of the types of losses that qualify for the ten-year carryback period.

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