Skip to content

Capital gains tax

Capital gains tax (CGT) is payable on the capital gain made on the disposal of an asset which was acquired on or after 20 September 1985.

A capital gain is the difference between the cost of an asset and the proceeds of its sale. A capital loss occurs when the proceeds are less than the total outlay of the asset.

There are 2 methods to calculate capital gains tax (CGT) in assets, discount and indexation.

Discount method

A discount of 50% for individuals or 33.3% for superannuation funds is applied before including the capital gain as taxable income.

You can use the discount method to calculate your capital gain if:

  • You are an individual, trust, or complying superannuation entity

  • A CGT event happens in relation to an asset you own

  • The CGT event occurred after 11:45 am on 21 September 1999

  • You acquired the asset at least 12 months before the CGT event

  • You did not choose to use the indexation method.

Indexation method

The indexation method increases each amount included in an element of the cost base (other than the costs of owning the asset) by an indexation factor. The indexation factor is calculated using the consumer price index (CPI).

You can use the indexation method to calculate your capital gain if:

  • a CGT event happened to an asset you acquired before 11:45am on 21 September 1999.

  • you owned the asset for 12 months or more.

If you are not a company and you meet the criteria above, and you want to use the indexation method, you may choose to do so, otherwise the discount method will apply.

If you are a company (other than a listed investment company) and the capital gain meets the criteria above, you must use the indexation method to calculate the capital gain.

There are some exceptions to the requirement that you must have owned an asset for at least 12 months for indexation to apply. You can use the indexation method if you:

  • acquired a capital gain tax asset as a legal personal representative or a beneficiary of a deceased estate. The 12-month requirement is satisfied if the deceased acquired the asset 12 months or more before you disposed of it.

  • acquired an asset as the result of a marriage or relationship breakdown. You will satisfy the 12-month requirement if the combined period your spouse and you owned the asset is more than 12-months.