What is a capital gain or loss?
When a capital asset is sold, the difference between the basis in the asset and the amount it is sold for is a capital gain or a capital loss. Generally an asset's basis is its cost, however, if you received the asset as a gift or inheritance, refer to Cost Basis of Investments for information about your basis.
You have a capital gain if you sell the asset for more than your basis.
You have a capital loss if you sell the asset for less than your basis. Losses from the sale of personal-use property, such as your home or car, are not deductible.