What is Tax Loss Harvesting?

Financial Planning Dentist

Tax loss harvesting works by taking advantage of the tax code’s treatment of investment gains and losses. Here’s how it works:

1. Identify Investments with Losses: To start, investors review their investment portfolio to identify assets that have decreased in value since they were purchased. These are the investments that are candidates for tax loss harvesting.

2. Sell Loss-Making Investments: Once the loss-making investments are identified, investors sell them. This action triggers a capital loss, which can be used to offset capital gains generated from the sale of other investments.

3. Offset Capital Gains: The capital losses realized from the sale of these assets can be used to offset capital gains from other investments. If the total losses exceed the total gains, they can be used to offset other income, such as salary or interest income.

4. Maintain Portfolio Allocation: After selling the loss-making investments, investors may choose to reinvest the proceeds in similar assets to maintain their desired portfolio allocation and investment strategy. However, there are tax rules, such as the wash-sale rule, that restrict repurchasing the same or substantially identical assets within a specific time frame.

5. Carry Forward Unused Losses: If the total capital losses exceed capital gains and other income, the remaining losses can be carried forward to offset future capital gains and income in subsequent tax years. This can provide tax benefits in the future.

By strategically realizing losses and offsetting gains, tax loss harvesting can help investors reduce their current tax liability while maintaining their overall investment strategy.

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