Capital gains tax
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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You may make a capital gain or capital loss when you sell (or otherwise cease to own) a rental property that you acquired after 19 September 1985.
You can also make a capital gain or capital loss from certain capital improvements made after 19 September 1985 when you sell or otherwise cease to own a property you acquired before that date.
You will make a capital gain from the sale of your rental property to the extent that the capital proceeds you receive are more than the cost base of the property. You will make a capital loss to the extent that the property's reduced cost base exceeds those capital proceeds. If you are a co-owner of an investment property, you will make a capital gain or loss in accordance with your interest in the property (see Co-ownership of rental property).
The cost base and reduced cost base of a property includes the amount you paid for it together with certain incidental costs associated with acquiring, holding and disposing of it (for example, legal fees, stamp duty and real estate agent's commissions). Certain amounts that you have deducted or which you can deduct are excluded from the property's cost base or reduced cost base. For example, see Cost base adjustments for capital works deductions.
Your capital gain or capital loss may be disregarded if a rollover applies, for example, if your property was destroyed or compulsorily acquired or you transferred it to your former spouse under a court order following the breakdown of your marriage.
For more information, see the Guide to capital gains tax 2012.
If the sale of your rental property includes depreciating assets, a balancing adjustment event will happen to those assets (see What happens if you no longer hold or use a depreciating asset?).
You should apportion your capital proceeds between the property and the depreciating assets to determine the separate tax consequences for them.