The following examples show how CGT works in various situations where people have bought and sold shares and units. They may help you meet your CGT obligation and complete item 17 on your tax return (supplementary section), or item 9 if you use the tax return for retirees.
Example 1: Sonya has a capital gain from one parcel of shares that she bought after 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and sold less than 12 months later.
In August 2003 Sonya bought 1,000 shares in Tulip Ltd for $1,500 including brokerage and sold them in July 2004 for $2,350. She paid $50 brokerage on the sale. The sale is a CGT event.
As Sonya bought and sold the shares within 12 months, she uses the 'other' method to calculate her capital gain as she cannot use the indexation or discount method. So her capital gain is:
$2,350 − ($1,500 + $50) = $800
As she has no other CGT event and does not have any capital losses, Sonya completes item 17 on her tax return (supplementary section) or item 9 if she uses the tax return for retirees as follows:
End of example
Example 2: Andrew has a capital gain from the sale of units which he bought before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and gave to his brother more than 12 months later.
In May 1999 Andrew bought 1,200 units in Share Trust for $1,275 including brokerage. He gave the units to his brother in August 2004. At that time they were worth $1,595.
The gift is a CGT event. As Andrew bought the units before 21 September 1999 and he owned them for more than 12 months, he can use the indexation or discount method to calculate his capital gain, whichever gives him the better result.
Indexation method
If Andrew calculates his capital gain or capital loss using the indexation method, he indexes the cost of his units and the incidental costs of buying them as follows:
CPI for September 1999 quarter ÷ CPI for June 1999 quarter
123.4 ÷ 122.3 = 1.009
His indexed cost base is worked out as follows:
His cost ($1,275) × 1.009
= $1286.48
So his capital gain is:
Capital proceeds 
$1,595.00 
less Indexed cost base 
$1,286.48 
Capital gain 
$308.52 
Discount method
If Andrew uses the discount method, his capital gain is calculated as:
Capital proceeds 
$1,595 
less Cost base 
$1,275 
Total capital gain 
$320 
less discount 
$160 
Capital gain 
$160 
Note: Andrew does not have any capital losses. If he did he would deduct any capital losses before applying the discount.
Andrew chooses the discount method because it gives him a smaller capital gain.
As he has no other CGT event and does not have any capital losses, Andrew completes item 17 on his tax return (supplementary section) as follows:
Note
If Andrew had received a nonassessable payment from the fund his cost base may have been reduced and the capital gain may have been greater. For more information, see chapter C2.
End of exampleExample 3
Fatima has a capital gain from one parcel of shares which she was given before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and sold more than 12 months later.
In October 1986 Fatima was given 500 shares in FJM Ltd with a market value of $2,500. She sold the shares in October 2004 for $4,500.
The sale is a CGT event. As Fatima acquired the shares before 21 September 1999 and owned them for more than 12 months, she can use the indexation or discount method to calculate her capital gain, whichever method gives her the better result.
Indexation method
If Fatima calculates her capital gain using the indexation method, the indexation factor is:
CPI for September 1999 quarter ÷ CPI for December 1986 quarter
123.4 ÷ 79.8 = 1.5469
Her indexed cost base is:
Her cost ($2,500) × 1.546 = $3,865.00
So her capital gain is calculated as follows:
Capital proceeds 
$4,500.00 
less Indexed cost base 
$3,865.00 
Capital gain 
$635.00 
Discount method
If Fatima uses the discount method, her capital gain is calculated as:
Capital proceeds 
$4,500 
less Cost base 
$2,500 
Total capital gain 
$2,000 
less discount 
$1,000 
Capital gain 
$1,000 
Note: Fatima does not have any capital losses. If she did she would deduct any capital losses before applying the discount.
Fatima chooses the indexation method because it gives her a smaller capital gain.
As she has no other CGT event and does not have any capital losses, Fatima completes item 17 on her tax return (supplementary section) or item 9 if she uses the tax return for retirees as follows:
Example 4: Colin has a capital gain from some units he bought after 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and redeemed less than 12 months later.
Colin bought 500 units in Equity Trust for $3,500 in October 2004 and redeemed them in June 2005 for $5,000 by switching or transferring his units from a share fund to a property fund. The redeeming of units is a CGT event.
As Colin owned the units for less than 12 months, he calculates his capital gain using the 'other' method. Colin's capital gain is:
Capital proceeds 
$5,000 
less Indexed cost base 
$3,500 
Capital gain 
$1,500 
As he had no other CGT event during 200405 and does not have any capital losses, Colin completes item 17 on his tax return (supplementary section) as follows:
Note
If Colin had received a nonassessable payment from the fund, his cost base may have been adjusted and the capital gain may have been greater. For more information, see chapter C2.
End of exampleExample 5: MeiLing made a capital gain from some shares she bought after 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and sold more than 12 months later. She also has a net capital loss from an earlier income year.
MeiLing bought 400 shares in TKY Ltd for $15,000 in October 1999 and sold them for $23,000 in February 2005. The sale is a CGT event. She also has a net capital loss of $1,000 from an earlier income year that has not been applied against later year capital gains.
As she bought the shares after 21 September 1999, MeiLing cannot use the indexation method. However, as she owned the shares for more than 12 months and sold them after 21 September 1999, she can use the discount method. Her capital gain is:
Capital proceeds 
$23,000 
less Cost base 
$15,000 
Total Capital gain 
$8,000 
less net capital loss 
$1,000 
Capital gain (before applying discount) 
$7,000 
less discount 
$3,500 
Capital gain 
$3,500 
As she has no other CGT event, MeiLing completes item 17 on her tax return (supplementary section) or item 9 if she uses the tax return for retirees as follows:
End of example
Example 6: Mario made a capital loss from one parcel of shares he bought before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and sold more than 12 months later.
In October 1986 Mario purchased 2,500 shares in Machinery Manufacturers Ltd for $2,650 including brokerage. He sold the shares in March 2005 for $2,300 and paid $50 brokerage. Mario also made a capital loss of $350 on some shares he sold in the 19992000 income year but had not made any capital gain since then that he could use to offset his capital losses.
The sale is a CGT event. Mario purchased the Machinery Manufacturers Ltd shares before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 but he made a capital loss, so neither the indexation nor the discount method applies.
Mario calculates his capital loss for the current year as follows:
Reduced cost base ($2,650+ $50) 
$2,700 
less capital proceeds 
$2,300 
Capital loss 
$400 
The net capital losses that Mario can carry forward to reduce capital gains he may make in later income years are:
Net capital loss for 200405 
$400 
plus net capital losses for 19992000 
$350 
Net capital losses carried forward to later income years 
$750 
As he has no other capital gains or capital losses, Mario puts nothing at and completes item 17 on his tax return (supplementary section) or item 9 if he uses the tax return for retirees as follows:
End of example
Clare made capital gains from shares she bought before 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999 and had capital losses carried forward from 200304.
Clare sold a parcel of 500 shares in March 2005 for $12,500  that is, for $25 each. She had acquired the shares in March 1995 for $7,500  that is, for $15 each. There were no brokerage costs on either purchase or sale. Clare had no other capital gains or capital losses in 200405, although she has $3,500 net capital losses carried forward from previous years.
Because Clare owned the shares for more than 12 months and acquired the shares before September 1999 she can use the CGT discount method or the indexation method to work out her capital gains  whichever gives her a better result. Clare firstly works out her net capital gain by applying both the discount method and the indexation method to the whole parcel of shares:
Item 
Using CGT discount method 
Using indexation method 

Capital proceeds 
$12,000 
$12,500 
Cost base 
$7,500 
$8,070 
Capital gain 
$5,000 
$4,430 
less capital losses 
$3,500 
$3,500 

$1,500 
$930 
50% discount 
$750 
Nil 
Net capital gain 
$750 
$930 
Note: $7,500 × (123.4 ÷ 114.7 = 1.076)
Because each share is a separate asset, Clare can use different methods to work out her capital gains for shares within the parcel. The lowest net capital gain would result from her applying the indexation method to sufficient shares to absorb the capital loss (or as much of the capital loss as she can) and apply the discount method to any remaining shares. Clare therefore applies the indexation method to the sale of 395 (see Note 2) shares and the discount method to the remaining 105. She works out her net capital gain as follows:
Capital proceeds ($25 each) 
$9,875 
Cost base (395 × $15 × 1.076) 
$6,375 
Capital gain 
$3,500 
less capital losses 
$3,500 
Capital gain/(loss) 
nil 
Capital proceeds ($25 each) 
$2,625 
Cost base (105 × $15) 
$1,575 
Capital gain 
$1,050 
less any remaining capital losses 
$1,050 
50% discount 
$525 
Net capital gain 
$525 
As she has no other capital gains or capital losses, Clare puts nothing at V, $4,550 at H ($3,500 + $1,050) and completes item 17 on her tax return (supplementary section) or item 9 if she uses the tax return for retirees as follows:
Note 2: To calculate this, Clare worked out the capital gain made on each share using the indexation method ($4,430 ÷ 500 = 8.86) and divided the capital loss by this amount ($3,500 ÷ 8.86 = 395).
End of example