Capital Gains Tax Deductions for Losses in Pakistan

Understanding Capital Gains Tax and Loss Deductions

In Pakistan, the sale of capital assets like property, stocks, or machinery can generate capital gains. However, the tax system also acknowledges that you might incur losses when selling these assets. This article explores how capital gains tax works in Pakistan and how you can utilize loss deductions to potentially reduce your tax burden.

Capital Gains Tax Explained

When you dispose of a capital asset for a price exceeding its purchase cost, the profit generated is considered a capital gain. The Income Tax Ordinance allows deductions for specific expenses incurred while acquiring or holding the asset, further refining the taxable capital gain amount. These gains are then taxed at a specific rate, depending on the type of asset and holding period.

Offsetting Capital Gains with Losses

The good news is that the Income Tax Ordinance allows you to offset capital gains with capital losses incurred in the same tax year. This means if you sell an asset at a loss, you can deduct that loss from your capital gains on other asset sales during the year, potentially reducing your overall tax liability.

Calculating Capital Loss

The capital loss is calculated by subtracting the consideration received upon selling the asset (selling price) from its original cost (purchase price). Here’s the formula:

Capital Loss = Cost of Asset – Consideration Received


Let’s say you bought a plot of land for Rs. 1,000,000 five years ago. Due to unforeseen circumstances, you need to sell it now at a loss. The current selling price is Rs. 800,000.

In this scenario, your capital loss would be Rs. 200,000 (Rs. 1,000,000 – Rs. 800,000).

Important Considerations

  • Exclusions: You cannot claim a deduction for losses incurred on the disposal of these assets; paintings, jewelry, rare manuscripts, medallion, coin or antiques.
  • Carry Forward of Losses: If your capital losses exceed your capital gains in a particular year, you cannot carry forward the unused portion to future tax years. This means you cannot utilize the remaining loss amount in subsequent years to offset potential gains.


Understanding capital gains tax and loss deductions allows you to make informed financial decisions. While capital gains can be taxed, capital losses can offer a valuable offset, potentially reducing your tax liability. However, it’s crucial to consult with a tax professional who can advise on specific situations and ensure compliance with the law.

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