Share buy-backs



This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

End of attention

As a shareholder, you may have received an offer from the company to buy back some or all of your shares in the company. If you disposed of shares back to the company under a buy-back arrangement, you may have made a capital gain or capital loss from that CGT event.

Some of the buy-back price may also be treated as a dividend for tax purposes. The time you make the capital gain or capital loss will depend on the conditions of the particular buy-back offer. It may be the time you lodge your application to participate in the buy-back, or if it is a conditional offer of buy-back, the time the offer is accepted.

If the information provided by the company is not sufficient for you to calculate your capital gain or capital loss, refer to Recent share transactions at appendix 4 or to the sources of further information listed in this guide.


Buy-back offer

Sam bought 4500 shares in Company A in January 1994 at a cost of $5 per share. In February 2002, Sam applied to participate in a buy-back offer to dispose of 675 shares (15 per cent). Company A approved a buy-back of 10 per cent (450) of the shares on 15 June 2002. The company sent Sam a cheque on 5 July for $4,050 (450 shares x $9). No part of the distribution is a dividend.

Sam works out his capital gain for 2001-02 as follows.

If he chooses to use the indexation method:

Capital proceeds


Cost base 450 shares X $5
($2,250 x 1.118 including indexation)


Capital gain


If he chooses to use the discount method:

Capital proceeds


Cost base


Discount capital gain


Sam has no capital losses to apply against this capital gain and decides that the discount method will provide him with the better result. He will include $900 ($1,800 X 50%) in his assessable income.

Last modified: 06 Oct 2009QC 27417