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  • Capital gains tax property exemption tool

    New rules for foreign and temporary tax residents were proposed in the 2017–18 Budget to take effect from 9 May 2017. Under the Budget proposal foreign and temporary tax residents will no longer be able to claim the main residence CGT exemption when they sell property in Australia.

    On 23 October 2019, a new bill was introduced to parliament which proposes that foreign and temporary tax residents who already hold property on 9 May 2017 will be able to claim the main residence CGT exemption until 30 June 2020. It also provides exclusions to foreign residents in certain circumstances. These proposed changes are still not law and subject to the parliamentary process.

    If you are affected by this proposed change see Capital gains tax changes for foreign investors. The Administrative treatment explains what you need to do until the outcome of the proposed changes is known.

    If you've sold a property or plan to sell one (or otherwise dispose of one), you can use this tool to work out what percentage of your capital gain is exempt from capital gains tax (CGT).

    You need to have owned the property as an individual, either in your own right or jointly with someone else. The tool covers situations where the property is (or was):

    • your home, even if you lived in and then left it vacant for a period of time or used part of it to produce income
    • a rental property
    • a vacant block of land.

    Information you need

    You'll be asked for:

    • the date you acquired the property and the date you sold it (or will sell it)
    • other information depending on your particular circumstances – for example, if you rented the property for a while, you'll need to enter the period it was rented.

    What this tool doesn't cover

    There are situations the tool doesn't cover. If your situation is listed below, see Capital gains tax – Your home and other real estate to find out how CGT applies to your circumstances.

    The tool doesn't cover situations where:

    • the property is on more than two hectares of land
    • you owned two or more properties that had both been your main residence and the periods you owned them overlapped
    • you and your spouse, or you and your dependent children, had different main residences at the same time
    • the property is being transferred to or from you because of a marriage or relationship breakdown
    • you inherited the property on or after 20 September 1985 and there was a dwelling on it when you sold it
    • you were absent from the property more than once and you used it to produce income (such as renting it out), and either:
      • one of these absences is more than six years, or
      • during your absence the property was completely vacant (you didn't reoccupy it)
    • you used a part of the property, other than the dwelling, to produce income
    • you had a building or other structure constructed on the property and:
      • you acquired the property before 20 September 1985 and the building works were after that date, or
      • you sold the property less than three months after you first occupied it
    • you acquired one property (or properties) pre-CGT and another property (or properties) post CGT and you amalgamated the titles
    • your property is being compulsorily acquired.

    Maximum exemption

    The tool is designed to give you the maximum exemption for capital gains. It automatically increases your exemption percentage to cover some or all of those periods when you didn't occupy the property, provided you met certain conditions. You'll be disadvantaged by the exemption percentage being increased automatically if you made a capital loss and either:

    • you were absent from the dwelling after occupying it as your main residence
    • you built or renovated a dwelling on the property and then occupied it as your main residence.


    All outcomes provided by this tool are based on the information you provide at the time of calculation. You should use the outcomes as an estimate and for guidance purposes only.

    If you use this tool before disposing of your interest in a property to estimate the proportion of capital gain or loss that is taken into account for tax purposes, you should use the tool again after the disposal with updated information and use that result to assist in preparing your tax return.

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    Last modified: 06 Nov 2019QC 18138