For those who participate in the Benefits Board’s equity (stock) accounts, you may suffer a loss in any particular year – although that was certainly not the case in 2013!!. We are sometimes asked if you can claim, or deduct, that loss on your tax return. The answer is simply NO!
Since your accounts at the Benefits Board are a part of a tax-sheltered investment vehicle (specifically, a 403(b) account), you cannot deduct losses that you suffered in the stock market. Just as you are not required to claim the gains (or interest earned on your account), you cannot deduct losses when those occur. Other than the tremendous tax advantages of contributing to a tax-sheltered account, your account with the Benefits Board has no tax consequences until you start making withdrawals from the account.