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Last updated 7 July 2013

There can be CGT consequences when you receive compensation.

You disregard some capital gains made as a result of you receiving compensation, for example, compensation for personal injury or compensation payable under certain government programs. For details of other compensation you disregard, see Exemptions. You may defer a capital gain made as a result of compensation for the loss, destruction or compulsory acquisition of an asset.

A compensation payment may relate to the disposal of, or permanent damage to, an underlying asset. The underlying asset is the most relevant asset to which the compensation amount is most directly related. For example, if you receive compensation for damage to a rental property, the most relevant asset (the underlying asset) is the rental property.

  • If the payment relates to the disposal (in whole or part) of an underlying asset, the compensation is treated as additional capital proceeds for the disposal of that asset.
  • If the payment relates to permanent damage to, or permanent reduction in the value of, an underlying asset, the compensation is treated as a recoupment of all or part of the acquisition cost of the asset (that is, you reduce the cost base and reduced cost base by the amount of the compensation).
  • If the payment is not for an underlying asset, it relates to the disposal of the right to seek compensation. The capital gain or capital loss will be the difference between the incidental costs and the compensation received.
Further Information

For more information about the CGT consequences of receiving compensation, see Taxation Ruling TR 95/35 - Income tax: capital gains: treatment of compensation receipts.

End of further information