• Bonus units issued where no amount is included in assessable income
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    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    If you did not include any amount in your assessable income for the issue of bonus units, the acquisition date of the bonus units is the date you acquired the original units to which they relate.

    The following table explains your CGT obligation in these cases.

    Original shares acquired before 20 Sep 1985

    CGT implications of fully paid versus partly paid bonus shares

    Fully paid shares

    If the bonus shares are fully paid, the acquisition date of the bonus shares is the date you acquired the original shares. Therefore, if you acquired the original shares before 20 September 1985, any capital gain or capital loss you make from the sale of the bonus shares is disregarded.

    Partly paid shares

    With certain exceptions, if the bonus shares were partly paid and you have made a call payment, the acquisition date for the bonus shares is the date when the liability to pay the amount arose. The cost of acquiring them includes their market value just before that date. A copy of a newspaper's stock market listing for that day is an appropriate record. Exceptions-For pre-10 December 1986 partly paid up bonus shares, the date of acquisition is the date you acquired the original shares. For post-10 December 1986 partly paid up bonus shares, the date of acquisition is also the date you acquired the original shares, provided you have not paid any amount subsequently (otherwise it becomes the date the liability to pay the amount arose).

    Example

    Unit trusts

    Sarah is a unit holder in the CPA Unit Trust. She bought 1,000 units on 1 September 1985 for $1 each and 1,000 units on 1 July 1996 for $2 each. on 1 March 1997, the unit trust made a one-for-one bonus unit issue to all unit holders. Sarah received 2,000 new units. She did not include any amount in her assessable income as a result.

    The 1,000 new units issued for the original units she acquired on 1 September 1985 are also treated as having been acquired on that date and are therefore not subject to CGT.

    However, the 1,000 new units issued for the original units she acquired on 1 July 1996 are subject to CGT. Their cost base is worked out by spreading the cost of the original units ($2,000) acquired on that date over both the original units and the bonus units. Each of the units therefore has a cost base of $1.

    Last modified: 06 Oct 2009QC 27417