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Sale of a rental property

Last updated 3 March 2016

The following example shows how you would calculate your capital gain on the sale of your rental property.

The sample worksheet (PDF 68KB)This link will download a file shows how you would complete the Capital gain or capital loss worksheet (PDF 50KB)This link will download a file for this example.

Example: Sale of a rental property

Brett purchased a rental property on 1 July 1997. The price he paid was $150,000 of which $6,000 was attributable to depreciating assets. He also paid $20,000 in total for stamp duty and solicitors fees.

He rented out the property after spending $2,500 on initial repairs.

In the next few years, Brett incurred the following expenses on the property:

Interest on money borrowed


Rates and land tax


Deductible (non-capital) repairs




When Brett decided to sell the property, a real estate agent advised him that if he spent around $30,000 on major structural repairs, the property would be valued at around $500,000. He had the repairs done and put the property on the market.

On 1 April 2004, he sold the property for $500,000 (of which $4,000 was attributable to depreciating assets).

Brett's real estate agents fees and solicitors fees for the sale of the property totalled $12,500.

Brett could not claim any capital works deductions as construction of the property began before 22 August 1979 and, as a result, the repairs he made did not qualify. For information about capital works that qualify for a deduction, get the publication Rental properties (see the inside back cover). For information about how capital works deductions affect the CGT cost base, see cost base adjustments for capital works deductions.

This is Brett's only capital gain for the year - and he has no capital losses to offset from this year or previous years. Brett works out his cost base as follows:

Purchase price of property (not including depreciating assets)



  • Stamp duty and solicitors fees on purchase of the property



  • Capital expenditure (initial repairs)


  • Capital expenditure (major structural repairs)


  • Real estate agents fees and solicitors fees on sale of the property


Cost base unindexed


Brett deducts his cost base from his capital proceeds (sale price):
Proceeds from selling the house (not including depreciating assets)


Less Cost base unindexed ($209,000)


He decides the discount method will give him the best result, so he uses this method to calculate his capital gain:

$287,000 × 50% = $143,500

Brett shows $143,500 at A item 17 on his tax return (or item 9 if he uses the tax return for retirees).

Brett shows $287,000 at H Total current year capital gains at item 17 on his tax return (or at item 9 if he uses the tax return for retirees). Brett must also make balancing adjustment calculations in relation to his depreciating assets. Because he used the property 100% for taxable purposes he will not make a capital gain or capital loss from the depreciating assets.

End of example