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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.

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

    Example 14: Calculating a capital loss - Antonio

    Antonio acquired a new income-producing asset on 28 September 1999 for $100,000, including stamp duty and legal costs. He sold it for $90,000 in November 2009. 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 capital works deductions


    Reduced cost base


    less capital proceeds


    Capital loss


    Example 15: Calculating a capital loss - Chandra

    In July 1996, Chandra bought 800 shares at $3 per share. He incurred brokerage and stamp duty of $100. In December 2009, 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 2007

    Brokers fees


    Reduced cost base




    Calculation of capital loss


    Reduced cost base


    Capital proceeds 800 x $2.50


    Capital loss


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


    Reduced cost base

    You cannot index a reduced cost base.

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    Last modified: 10 Sep 2010QC 28058