Q: I know that you can write off loses of stocks that you have invested in, but can you do the same thing if those stocks are in a IRA? My wife and I have been hammered this year, so I’m trying too find info on this and thought I would give you a try.

A: You generally may not write off the loss in an IRA. But check with a tax advisor to make sure your situation isn’t a little different.

Q: At the beginning of 2000 I put $2000.00 into a self managed ROTH IRA. It was in Nextel stock. Now the stock has fallen to $800.00. My question is can I put $1200.00 back into the IRA and bring it back up to $2000.00 before year end?

A: Sorry, nope. The government doesn’t allow you to “make up” for poor investments, just as it doesn’t allow you to take away anything if the stock doubled in value.

Jan 1, 2005