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What is a CGT event?

Last updated 3 March 2016

CGT events are the different types of transactions or events that may result in a capital gain or capital loss. Many CGT events involve a CGT asset; some relate directly to capital receipts (capital proceeds).

You need to know which type of CGT event applies in your situation because it affects how you calculate your capital gain or capital loss and when you include it in your net capital gain or net capital loss.

The range of CGT events is wide. Some happen often and affect many people while others are rare and affect only a few people. There is a summary of the various types of CGT events at appendix 1.

The most common CGT event happens if you dispose of a CGT asset to someone else – for example, if you sell it or give it away. A CGT event also happens when:

  • an asset you own is lost or destroyed (the destruction may be voluntary or involuntary)
  • shares you own are cancelled, surrendered or redeemed
  • you enter into an agreement not to work in a particular industry for a set period of time
  • a trustee makes a non-assessable payment to you from a managed fund or other unit trusts
  • a company makes a payment (not a dividend) to you as a shareholder
  • a liquidator declares that shares you own are worthless
  • you receive an amount from a local council for disruption to your business assets by roadworks
  • you stop being an Australian resident
  • you enter into a conservation covenant, or
  • you dispose of a depreciating asset that you used for private purposes.

Subdividing land does not result in a CGT event if you retain ownership of the subdivided blocks. Therefore, you do not make a capital gain or a capital loss at the time of the subdivision.

Australian residents make a capital gain or capital loss if a CGT event happens to any of their assets anywhere in the world. As a general rule, non-residents make a capital gain or capital loss only if a CGT event happens to a CGT asset that has a 'necessary connection with Australia'.

Non-Australian residents may also make a capital gain or capital loss where CGT events create:

  • contractual or other rights (CGT event D1), or
  • a trust over future property (CGT event E9).