Buffett Says Now Is Time for Losses on Asset Sales for Tax Edge

  • Billionaire comments at Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha
  • Buffett says tax impact may be more of a factor later in year

Billionaire Warren Buffett said he’s more inclined than usual this year to sell some assets because the tax advantage could soon diminish for divesting securities at a loss.

“We would rather take losses than gains because of the tax effect,” Buffett said Saturday at the annual meeting of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska. While that is normally his view, it is even more of a preference now because tax rates may decline, he said.

President Donald Trump has pledged to reduce the cost of taxes for corporations. That means it may be better to take gains later, when tax rates might be lower. By the same logic, losses are more valuable when tax rates are high.

“That is not a big deal, but it would be a very slight preference” when making decisions about the securities portfolio, Buffett said. “And it may get to be more of a factor in deferring any gains and perhaps accelerating any losses as the year gets closer to Dec. 31.”

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