ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Marriage or relationship breakdown

Last updated 19 July 2021

Read this section if your marriage or relationship ended on or after 20 September 1985 and:

  • you transfer an asset or a share of an asset to your spouse
  • you receive an asset or a share of an asset from your spouse, or
  • a company or trustee of a trust transfers an asset to you or your spouse.

When we talk about ‘your spouse’, this includes your former spouse. It does not include your spouse's or your former spouse's legal personal representative (such as an executor).

Transfer of an asset means transferring ownership of an asset to the transferee spouse and includes creating an asset in their favour (such as a right to use property).

Where we talk about an asset, this includes a share of, or an interest in, a jointly owned asset.

Transferee spouse refers to the spouse to whom an asset is transferred, while the transferor is the person (or a company or the trustee of a trust) who transfers an asset to the transferee spouse.

As a general rule, CGT applies to all changes of ownership of assets on or after 20 September 1985. However, if you transfer an asset to your spouse as a result of the breakdown of your marriage or relationship, there is an automatic rollover in certain cases. You cannot choose whether or not it applies.

This rollover ensures the transferor spouse disregards a capital gain or capital loss that would otherwise arise. In effect, the one who receives the asset (the transferee spouse) will make the capital gain or capital loss when they subsequently dispose of the asset. If you are the transferee spouse, the cost base of the asset is transferred to you.