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How to calculate a capital loss

Last updated 19 July 2021

Example 14: Calculating a capital loss

Antonio acquired a new income-producing asset on 28 September 1999 for $100,000, including stamp duty and legal costs. He sold it for $90,000 in November 2020. During the period he owned it, he was allowed capital works deductions of $7,500. Antonio works out his capital loss as follows:

Cost base


less capital works deductions


Reduced cost base


less capital proceeds


Capital loss



End of example


Start of example

Example 15: Calculating a capital loss

In July 1996, Chandra bought 800 shares at $3 per share. He incurred brokerage and stamp duty of $100. In December 2020, Chandra sold all 800 shares for $2.50 per share. He incurred brokerage of $75. He made a capital loss, calculated as follows:

Calculation of reduced cost base

July 1996

Purchase price


July 1996

Brokerage and stamp duty


December 2020



Reduced cost base



Calculation of capital loss

Reduced cost base


Capital proceeds (800 × $2.50)


Capital loss



End of example

However, the reduced cost base is not relevant for some types of CGT events. In these cases, see appendix 1 for the amounts to use for the particular CGT event.

Reduced cost base

You cannot index a reduced cost base.