• How to calculate a capital loss

    Example 14: Calculating a capital loss

    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 2014. 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

    $100,000

    less capital works deductions

    $7,500

    Reduced cost base

    $92,500

    less capital proceeds

    $90,000

    Capital loss

    $2,500

     

    End of example

     

    Example 15: Calculating a capital loss

    In July 1996, Chandra bought 800 shares at $3 per share. He incurred brokerage and stamp duty of $100. In December 2014, 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

    Expense

    July 1996

    Purchase price

    $2,400

    July 1996

    Brokerage and stamp duty

    $100

    December 2014

    Brokerage

    $75

    Reduced cost base

     

    $2,575

    Calculation of capital loss

    Reduced cost base

    $2,575

    Capital proceeds (800 x $2.50)

    $2,000

    Capital loss

    $575

     

    End of example

    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.

    Keeping records

    Attention

    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

    End of attention

    Keeping adequate records of all expenditure will help you correctly work out the amount of capital gain or capital loss you have made when a CGT event happens. It will also help to make sure you do not pay more CGT than is necessary.

    You must keep records of everything that affects your capital gains and capital losses. Penalties can apply if you do not keep the records for at least five years after the relevant CGT event. If you use information from those records in a later tax return, you may have to keep records for longer. If you have applied a net capital loss, you should generally keep your records of the CGT event that resulted in the loss until the end of any period of review for the income year in which the net capital loss is fully applied.

    For more information, see Taxation Determination TD 2007/2External Link– Income tax: should a taxpayer who has incurred a tax loss or made a net capital loss for an income year retain records relevant to the ascertainment of that loss only for the record retention period prescribed under income tax law?

    Keeping good records can help your beneficiaries reduce the impact of CGT after you die. If you leave an asset to another person, the asset may be subject to CGT when a CGT event happens to that asset in the future, for example, if your daughter (the beneficiary) sells the shares (the asset) you have left her in your will.

      Last modified: 08 Jul 2015QC 44187