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  • List of CGT assets and exemptions

    Capital gains tax (CGT) applies to assets you sell or dispose of, except for:

    • exempt assets, such as your home and car
    • assets you acquired before CGT started on 20 September 1985.

    On this page

    Real estate

    Most property is subject to CGT.

    This includes:

    • vacant land
    • business premises
    • rental properties
    • holiday houses
    • hobby farms.

    If you acquired property before 20 September 1985, any property improvements or additions you make after that date may be subject to CGT.

    Your main residence is generally exempt from CGT.

    Your main residence (your home)

    Your main residence (your home) is exempt from CGT.

    However, CGT may apply if:

    • you rent out part of it
    • you use it for business
    • it is on more than 2 hectares of land.

    Granny flat arrangements

    CGT does not apply when an eligible granny flat arrangement is created, varied or terminated.

    Cars and motorcycles

    Your car or motorcycle is exempt from CGT.

    A car is defined as a motor vehicle that carries a load of less than 1 tonne and fewer than 9 passengers.

    Shares and units

    CGT applies to shares, units and similar investments when a 'CGT event' happens. This includes when you sell them or receive a distribution (other than a dividend) from a managed fund.

    Cryptocurrency

    CGT may apply when you dispose of your cryptocurrency.

    If the cryptocurrency is a personal use asset, capital gains or losses from disposing of it may be exempt from CGT. Cryptocurrency is a personal use asset if it is kept or used mainly to purchase items for personal use or consumption.

    Personal use assets

    A capital gain on a personal use asset is subject to CGT if it cost you $10,000 or more to acquire the asset.

    Capital losses on personal use assets are ignored. This means you cannot use a capital loss on a personal use asset to reduce capital gains on other assets (including other personal use assets).

    Personal use assets are CGT assets that you keep for your personal use or enjoyment.

    They include:

    • boats
    • furniture
    • electrical goods
    • household items
    • an option or right to acquire a personal use asset
    • a debt resulting from
      • a CGT event involving a CGT asset kept for your personal use
      • making a private loan to a family member or friend.

    The following are not classed as personal use assets:

    • collectables – these may be subject to CGT
    • your main residence, which is generally exempt from CGT
    • cars, which are exempt from CGT.

    If you dispose of personal use assets individually that would usually be sold as a set, you get the exemption only if you acquired the set for $10,000 or less.

    Collectables

    A collectable is subject to CGT unless:

    • you acquired the collectable for $500 or less
    • you acquired a share in the collectable for $500 or less before 16 December 1995
    • you acquired a share in the collectable when the collectable had a market value of $500 or less.

    Collectables include:

    • artwork
    • jewellery
    • antiques
    • coins or medallions
    • rare folios, manuscripts or books
    • postage stamps or first day covers.

    If you make a capital loss on a collectable you can only deduct it against capital gains from collectables, not from other capital gains.

    If you dispose of collectables individually that would usually be disposed of as a set, they are exempt only if you acquired the set for $500 or less after 16 December 1995.

    Intangible assets

    Intangible assets may be subject to CGT.

    They include:

    • leases
    • goodwill
    • licences
    • contractual rights.

    A number of CGT events, other than disposal, can happen to these assets. For example, granting a lease is a CGT event.

    Foreign currency

    Foreign currency is subject to CGT. You make a capital gain or loss on fluctuations in the foreign currency exchange rate.

    Foreign currency is subject to foreign exchange gains and losses. A capital gain or loss arises from the acquisition or disposal of foreign currency when there is a fluctuation in the exchange rate.

    This applies to foreign currency held as cash and CGT assets denominated in a foreign currency (such as an overseas rental property).

    Depreciating assets

    CGT does not apply to depreciating assets used solely for taxable purposes.

    This includes:

    • business equipment
    • items in a rental property.

    Gains or losses made on these assets are treated as assessable income or claimed as deductions.

    However, if you have used a depreciating asset for private purposes, CGT may apply.

    Specific exemptions such as awards and payouts

    The following are exempt from CGT:

    • a decoration awarded for valour or brave conduct (unless you paid or exchanged property for it)
    • assets used solely to produce exempt income or some types of non-assessable, non-exempt income
    • compensation or damages received for any
      • wrong or injury you suffered at work
      • wrong, injury or illness you or your relatives suffered
    • winnings or losses from gambling, a game or a competition with prizes
    • payment of your expenses under the following
      • Unlawful Termination Assistance Scheme
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution Assistance Scheme
      • M4/M5 Cashback Scheme
      • a scheme established under legislation by an Australian Government agency, a local government body or a foreign government agency (except a payment for the loss, destruction or transfer of an asset)
    • the transfer of a super interest in one small super fund (a complying fund that has less than 5 members) to another because of a relationship breakdown between spouses or former spouses
    • rights created or ended in a superannuation agreement (as defined in the Family Law Act 1975)
    • a CGT event happening to the segregated current pension asset of a complying super fund
    • some payouts under a general insurance policy, life insurance policy or annuity instrument, such as payments from the maturity of a life insurance policy
    • a payment for surrender of an insurance policy where you are the original beneficial owner of the policy
    • shares in a pooled development fund
    • shares of certain profits, gains or losses arising from disposal of investments by certain venture capital and early stage venture capital limited partnership entities
    • a financial arrangement where gains and losses are calculated under the taxation of financial arrangements (TOFA) rules
    • gifts made through a will to a deductible gift recipient beneficiary.

    Norfolk Island residents

    CGT does not apply to an asset if both the following are true:

    • you were a resident of Norfolk Island before 24 October 2015
    • you acquired the asset on Norfolk Island before 24 October 2015.

    All other assets are subject to the normal CGT rules. This includes assets acquired on Norfolk Island by people who were not residents of Norfolk Island.

    CGT for Norfolk Island residents

    If you have an asset on …

    and you acquired the asset …

    then …

    Norfolk Island and you were a resident of Norfolk Island on 23 October 2015

    on or before 23 October 2015

    CGT doesn’t apply

    on or after 24 October 2015

    Normal CGT rules apply

    Norfolk Island and you were not a resident of Norfolk Island on 23 October 2015

    on or before 23 October 2015

    Normal CGT rules apply

    on or after 24 October 2015

    Normal CGT rules apply

    the Australian mainland (or anywhere worldwide)

    on or before 19 September 1985

    CGT doesn’t apply

    on or after 20 September 1985

    Normal CGT rules apply

    Last modified: 04 Aug 2021QC 66014