Capital gains tax (CGT) and going overseas
Main residence exemption and temporary absence
If you leave your main residence temporarily, you may want us to treat it as your main residence while you are away; for example, if you:
- move because of a temporary job transfer
- study overseas
- take an extended overseas holiday.
Under the capital gains tax (CGT) rules, if you:
- use your vacated home to produce income, you can choose to treat that home as your main residence for a period of up to six years
- do not use your vacated home to produce income, you can choose to treat it as your main residence for an unlimited period after you cease living in it.
If you choose to treat that home as your main residence, you cannot nominate any other dwelling as your main residence during your period of absence even if you actually live in that other dwelling. There is one exception – the maximum six-month period you can qualify for the exemption on two homes when you are moving from one main residence to another.
You must make the choice by the day you lodge your tax return for the income year in which a CGT event happens, such as selling the house. We use information on your tax return as evidence of your choice.
If you make a choice, it is not affected by you becoming a foreign resident during the period of absence.