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  • Cost base adjustments for capital works deductions



    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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    In working out a capital gain or capital loss from a rental property, the cost base and reduced cost base of the property may need to be reduced to the extent that it includes construction expenditure for which you have claimed or can claim a capital works deduction.

    Cost base

    You must exclude from the cost base of a CGT asset (including a building, structure or other capital improvement to land that is treated as a separate asset for CGT purposes*) the amount of capital works deductions you have claimed or can claim in respect of the asset if:

    • you acquired the asset after 7.30pm (by legal time in the ACT) on 13 May 1997, or
    • you acquired the asset before that time and the expenditure that gave rise to the capital works deductions was incurred after 30 June 1999.
    Reduced cost base

    The amount of the capital works deductions you have claimed or can claim for expenditure you incurred in respect of an asset is excluded from the reduced cost base.

    Example: Capital works deduction

    Zoran acquired a rental property on 1 July 1997 for $200,000. Before disposing of the property on 30 June 2006, he had claimed $10,000 in capital works deductions.

    At the time of disposal, the cost base of the property was $210,250. Zoran must reduce the cost base of the property by $10,000 to $200,250.

    Limited recourse debt arrangements

    If the construction expenditure is financed or refinanced wholly or partly by limited recourse debt (including a notional loan under certain hire purchase or instalment sale agreements of goods), you must include excessive deductions for the capital works deductions as assessable income. This will occur where the limited recourse debt arrangement terminates after 27 February 1998 but has not been paid in full by the debtor. Because the debt has not been paid in full, the capital works deductions allowed for the expenditure exceed the deductions that would be allowable if the unpaid amount of the debt was not counted as capital expenditure of the debtor. Special rules apply for working out whether the debt has been fully paid.

    If you are not sure what constitutes a limited recourse debt or how to work out your adjustment to assessable income, contact your recognised tax adviser or the Tax Office.

    *For information on when a building, structure or other capital improvement to land is treated as a CGT asset separate from the land, see chapter 1 and the section Major capital improvements to a dwelling acquired before 20 September 1985 in chapter 6 of Guide to capital gains tax 2005-06 (NAT 4151-6.2006).

    Last modified: 26 Mar 2020QC 27741