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Personal investors guide to capital gains tax 2021

A guide to your tax obligations if you made a capital gain or loss from shares, units or managed funds.

Last updated 26 May 2021

How to obtain this publication

You can download Personal investors guide to capital gains tax 2021 (PDF 586KB)This link will download a file NAT 4152. Alternatively, you can get a printed copy of this publication:

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About this guide

Personal investors guide to capital gains tax 2021 explains the capital gains tax (CGT) consequences of:

  • the sale or gift (or other disposal) of shares or units
  • the receipt of distributions of capital gains from managed funds
  • the receipt of non-assessable payments from companies or managed funds.

Who should use this guide?

Use this guide if you are a personal investor who has made a capital gain or capital loss from shares, units or managed funds in 2020–21.

Who should NOT use this guide?

Do not use this guide if you:

  • are an investor who is a foreign resident of Australia
  • have gains or losses included as part of your income under other provisions of the tax law, for example, if you are carrying on a business of share trading. See Shareholding as investor or share trading as business?
  • are a resident investor who  
    • had a period of non-residency after 8 May 2012
    • had a CGT event that happened after 8 May 2012
    • have a discount capital gain.

See also:

The guide does not explain more complex issues relating to shares (including employee shares), convertible notes and units. Nor does it apply to shares and units owned by companies, trusts and superannuation funds.

Also, this guide does not cover your CGT consequences when you sell other assets such as:

  • a rental property
  • collectables (for example, jewellery, art, antiques and collections)
  • assets for personal use (for example, a boat you use for recreation).

For more information, see Guide to capital gains tax 2021.

Publications and services

To find out how to get a publication referred to in this guide and for information about our other services, see More information.

Unfamiliar terms

Some of the terms used in this guide may be new to you. Specific terms are in bold when first used and are explained in Definitions.