Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax imposed on capital gains – the profit or gain made on disposing of an asset – such as a property, shares, or any other type of investment. In Australia, CGT is a significant aspect of the tax system, and it influences investment, business, and financial decision-making.

CGT was introduced in Australia in 1985, and since then it has undergone several changes that have affected various aspects of investments and businesses. It’s based on the principle that profits or gains from the sale of assets should be subject to taxation, in the same way that income is subject to taxation.

The tax is levied on the difference between the sale price of the asset and its cost base. The cost base is the price or value of the asset when it was acquired, adjusted for any expenditure incurred on it or any depreciation since acquisition.

The tax rate on capital gains varies according to various factors, such as the type of asset, the length of time it was held before disposal, and the investor’s tax bracket. Generally, individuals pay a CGT rate of 50% of their marginal tax rate, but some discounts or exemptions may apply.

One of the popular exemptions or discounts is the 50% discount for assets owned by individuals for more than 12 months or the main residence exemption, which applies to an individual’s home. The main residence exemption allows the owner to sell their primary residence, and the capital gain is not subject to CGT.

Another area where CGT is relevant is in transferring assets to heirs or beneficiaries when an individual passes away. Australian tax law provides for a tax-free transfer of assets between spouses or de facto partners upon the death of one person. Assets transferred to children or other third parties are subject to CGT.

Investors and businesses must keep accurate records of all relevant transactions involving assets subject to capital gains tax. A failure to keep up-to-date records can have serious financial consequences, including hefty fines and penalties.

In conclusion, CGT is a significant factor to consider when investing or disposing of assets in Australia. Understanding the rules, exemptions, and applicable tax rates can help investors and business people make informed decisions regarding their financial assets. As the Australian tax office continues to update and refine its tax laws regarding CGT, it is wise to stay up-to-date and seek professional advice where necessary.

At AIMS Australia we prepare Individual Tax Returns, Sole Trader Tax Returns, Partnership Tax Returns, Trust Tax Returns, Company Tax Returns, Crypto tax returns, Expat tax return, Non resident tax returns, overdue tax returns, foreign resident tax returns, investment property tax returns, payroll solutions, late tax filing, capital gains, company formation, business setup, and BAS. You can call us on 1300 11 24 67 or email us at

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