The law relating to the capital gains tax (CGT) treatment of policy holders of health insurers who receive cash or shares when their health insurer demutualises has recently been changed. The changes take effect from 1 July 2007.
If you hold or held a policy of a private health insurer that converts from a not for profit insurer to a profit insurer by demutualising, you disregard capital gains and losses you make from a CGT event happening to your interest or other right you have or had in the insurer.
If you receive shares or rights to acquire shares as a result of the demutualisation of your private health insurer you will be taken for CGT purposes to have acquired each share or right at the time it is issued. The first element of the cost base or reduced cost base is equal to the market value of that share or right on the day they are issued.
Any sale of the shares or rights will be a CGT event that may give rise to a capital gain or capital loss in the income year in which you enter into the contract of sale. This includes when the shares are sold through the sale facility.
If you receive a cash payment under the demutualisation that is not as a result of the sale of the shares or rights you will not make a capital gain or loss.