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Records relating to real estate

Last updated 3 March 2016

Real estate can include the family home, vacant blocks of land, business premises, rental properties, holiday houses and hobby farms.

Even though your family home is usually exempt, if you acquired it on or after 20 September 1985 it is advisable to keep all records relating to the home, just as you would for other items of real estate. If the home ceases to be fully exempt at some time in the future, you will need to know the full cost of the home so that you do not pay more CGT than necessary. If you do not have sufficient records, reconstructing them later could be difficult. See chapter 6 for details of when your home may not be fully exempt.

You will need to keep a copy of the purchase contract and all receipts for expenses relating to the purchase of the property – for example, stamp duty, legal fees, survey and valuation fees. You will also need to keep all records relating to the CGT event and all relevant expenses – for example, the sale contract and records of legal fees and stamp duty.

Keep a record of capital expenditure on improvements, non-capital costs and capital expenditure on maintaining title or right to the asset that you incurred during your period of ownership. These costs may form part of the cost base in working out whether you have made a capital gain or capital loss at the time the CGT event happens.

Capital expenditure on improvements may include building an extension, addition or improvement, including initial repairs.

Examples of non-capital costs of real estate include interest, rates and land taxes, insurance premiums and cost of repairs – for example, replacing broken items. You may include only non-capital costs incurred on ownership of a CGT asset acquired on or after 21 August 1991 and only if you are not entitled to a tax deduction for them.

If the property is your home and you use it to produce income (for example, by renting out part or all of it), you will need to keep records of the period the home is producing income and the proportion of the home you have used to produce income.

If, after 20 August 1996, you use your home for income-producing purposes for the first time, you will be taken to have acquired your home at that time for its market value. You will use this as your acquisition cost for the purpose of calculating a capital gain or capital loss at the time the CGT event happens. You will still need to keep details of expenses relating to your home after the date that it started producing income.