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Subject:  Re: Tax loss harvesting possible with MLPs? REIT Date:  8/6/2013  5:46 PM
Author:  froggies Number:  118985 of 124282

Thanks everyone for the comprehensive answers, and for the knowledgeable commentary on how basis affects this. Let's see if I can correctly summarize what everyone has told me, and then I'll talk a bit about my thinking here.

Summarizing somewhat stupidly: it sounds like MLPs are very poor candidates for tax-loss harvesting, while REITs would probably work. A REIT's distributions do not usually affect the basis. My understanding from looking at online examples is that ETFs can also be used for tax-loss harvesting.

Now on to some discussion of why I'm asking these questions and possible strategies that might make use of this information. Feel free to deflate any excessive optimism on my part, or address any misunderstandings.

I think most folks would agree that short and long capital losses have value. They have the most value to high-income, highly taxed individuals, which describes us right now. You can use capital losses to offset up to $3000 of ordinary income, which is helpful. You can use them to offset capital gains in other investments. My understanding is that you can accrue as many losses as you wish and roll them forward into future years.

Unlike many retail investors, we have no meaningful transactional costs associated with buying and sell