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  • How to calculate a capital loss



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

    End of attention

    Generally, you make a capital loss if your reduced cost base is greater than your capital proceeds. The excess is your capital loss.

    Example: Capital loss from a new income-producing asset

    Antonio acquired a new income-producing asset on 28 September 1999 for $100,000. He sold it for $90,000 in November 2003. During the period he owned it, he was allowed capital works deductions of $7,500. Antonio works out his capital loss as follows.

    Cost base


    less write-off deduction


    Reduced cost base


    less capital proceeds


    Capital loss



    End of example


    Example: Capital loss from holding and selling shares

    In July 1996, Chandra bought 800 shares at $3 per share. He incurred brokerage and stamp duty of $100. In December 2003, Chandra sold all 800 shares for $2.50 per share. He incurred brokerage of $75. He made a capital loss, calculated as follows.

    Calculation of reduced cost base

    Date expense incurred

    Description of expense


    July 1996

    Purchase price


    July 1996

    Brokers fees and stamp duty


    December 2003

    Brokers fees


    Reduced cost base



    Calculation of capital loss

    Reduced cost base


    Capital proceeds 800 × $2.50


    Capital loss



    End of example

    However, the reduced cost base is not relevant for some types of CGT events. In these cases, the particular CGT event explains the amounts to use (see appendix 1: Summary of CGT events).

    Reduced cost base

    You cannot index a reduced cost base.

    Last modified: 04 Mar 2016QC 27527