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Guide to capital gains tax 2021

A guide to capital gains tax for individuals with complex CGT obligations, and for companies, trusts and funds.

Last updated 19 July 2021

About this guide

The Guide to capital gains tax 2021 explains how capital gains tax (CGT) works and will help you calculate your net capital gain or net capital loss for 2020–21 so you can meet your CGT obligations. There are links to worksheets in this guide to help you do this.

This guide is not available in print or as a downloadable PDF (Portable Document Format) document.

Who should use this guide?

An individual, company, trust or superannuation fund can use this guide to work out their CGT obligations.

Individuals may prefer to use the shorter, simpler Personal investors guide to capital gains tax 2021 (NAT 4152) if, during 2020–21, they only:

  • sold shares
  • sold units in a managed fund, or
  • received a distribution of a capital gain from a managed fund.

A company, trust or superannuation fund may be required to complete and lodge a Capital gains tax (CGT) schedule 2021 (NAT 3423) (CGT schedule) as explained in part C.

If you have a small business, see Small business CGT concessions.

This guide does not deal fully with the CGT position of:

  • an individual or entity that is not an Australian resident for tax purposes
  • a company that is the head company of a consolidated group. The rules that apply to members of a consolidated group modify the application of the CGT rules. For more information about the consolidation rules, see Consolidation.

This guide does not cover individuals or entities whose gains or losses are not subject to CGT but are covered under other tax law; for example, for gains or losses from carrying on a business of share trading or net profit or loss from a profit-making activity of property renovations, see:

Publications and services

To find out how to obtain a publication referred to in this guide, see Publications and rulings. For information about our other services, see More information.

Check when to use this guide, CGT schedules and worksheets available and terms used in this guide.

Find out what's new or any changes in legislation that need to be taken into consideration for 2021.

Explains how to complete question 18 in your individual supplementary tax return.

Find additional information to help you understand and complete your CGT obligations.

Supporting phone numbers and other services.