NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- JPMorgan Chase ( JPM) is closing in on a deal that would allow it to benefit from a tax refund of as much as $1.4 billion, a report says.

JPMorgan would be the latest company to tap a little-noticed plank in an economic stimulus bill, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The law allows companies to apply losses from 2008 or 2009 against taxes paid in the previous five years, instead of the previous two years, the newspaper notes. Failed Seattle thrift Washington Mutual is eligible for about $2.6 billion in tax refunds, owing to big losses in 2008, the Journal says.

JPMorgan, which acquired WaMu's banking operations in September 2008, is in discussions with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and bondholders about the refund.

Homebuilders, who suffered big losses in the housing slump, are the biggest beneficiaries from the law. Sixteen builders estimate they're due refunds totaling more than $2.6 billion, the Journal says. The tax break helped the profit of builders Lennar ( LEN), Hovnanian ( HOV) and KB Home ( KBH) in recent quarters.

Other groups receiving tax refunds include certain airlines and retailers.

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