Investors are risk-takers. Sometimes, they reap from a boom, and other times, they have to make certain moves to salvage a desperate situation. Tax-loss harvesting involves selling the investor’s security at a lower price, and the incurred loss is used to pay off the capital gains tax, both the current and future ones.

So, investors deduct the loss from their income when they sell bonds, stock, or security fund. This is recognized by any taxman in the world, which is why investors take advantage of it.

Taking Advantage of Capital Loss

When the capital’s value decreases, the loss can be used to the advantage of the investor. But it is only recognized when the capital has been sold at an amount that is lower than how it was sold. Hence, if you are in a fix, you can sell some of your assets and record the sales in your business. When the taxes are being calculated, the loss will be deducted first, which will then lower your taxes.

Understanding the Wash Sale Rule

Tax loss harvesting has some rules and that must be followed. The wash sale rule prohibits the investor from deducting a capital loss from a security that they already gained from. In other words, you cannot sell the security at a loss and expect to buy it back within a certain period, which is usually 30 days.

For some smart investors, you can go around this by replacing the security they have sold at a loss with an exchange or a mutual fund. This is considered as great tax-loss harvesting, which has become very common these days.

Tax Liability Threshold

You can only reduce your tax for a certain period, but this depends on the tax laws in your country. Some allow investors up to one year only while others give more or less. In other setups, the limit is set up to a certain level amount.

Before you take full advantage of tax-loss harvesting, make sure that you understand the tax liability threshold in your country. Better still, you can hire a tax consultant to interpret the law for you.

Involved Costs

Administrative costs are usually involved and it is better for an investor to consider this. According to experts, ensure that the benefit of tax-loss harvesting is more than the administrative cost or any other that is involved. Otherwise, the entire process will not make sense.

If you are using a consultant to take you through the process, usually for large investments, their cost should also be factored in. The beauty of hiring professionals is that your harvesting process will be smooth and better overall.


There is no best or worst time to execute the tax-loss harvesting process. But investors have to be ready to grab the opportunity when it comes up. Your internal accounting and tax staff should keep checking for the opportunity, do the cost-benefit analysis, and advise the investors and the management accordingly. However, when the economy is not looking so good, investors and large organizations should start looking for opportunities to take up.

The other important timing is the holding time. As you know, there are short and long-term benefits. So, investors should not sell their capital that can be used to offset long-term gains now if the current need is short-term.


Tax-loss harvesting is a sensitive process. For investors to understand it fully, they might need experts to walk them through with examples. But with the above information, any investor, accountant, or manager knows how to go about this.

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