Step 5 Applying current year capital losses
This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
End of attention
You must apply your current year capital losses from step 4 against (that is, deducted from) any capital gains you made during the year to determine your net capital gain or net capital loss.
Example 105: Sale of shares and collectables
Kathleen sold some assets during the year and has the following capital gains and capital losses for 2010–11:
Capital gain on the sale of 1,000 shares for $6 each on 17 December 2010
Kathleen bought these shares on 17 November 1998 and each has a cost base of $3 (including incidental costs of acquisition and disposal).
Capital gain = $6,000 – $3,000 = $3,000
Kathleen chooses to calculate her capital gain using the discount method.
Capital gain on the sale of 130 shares for $8 each on 27 February 2011
Kathleen bought these shares on 10 October 2010 and each has a cost base of $4 (including incidental costs of acquisition and disposal). As the asset was bought and sold within 12 months, Kathleen must use the 'other' method to calculate her capital gain from these shares:
130 × $8 = $1,040 – (130 × $4) = $520
Capital loss on the sale of jewellery for $1,000 on 1 April 2011
Kathleen bought this jewellery for $1,500 and sold it six months later for $1,000.
She calculates her capital loss as follows:
$1,000 – $1,500 = $500 capital loss
Kathleen takes the following steps to complete item 18 on her tax return (supplementary section).
Firstly, Kathleen writes her total current year capital gains of $3,520 ($3,000 + $520) from her shares at H Total current year capital gains. This is the amount before deducting any capital losses or applying the CGT discount. If Kathleen had made a net capital gain on her collectables (her jewellery), she would also have included it here.
Next, Kathleen notes her capital loss from collectables on her Capital gain or capital loss worksheet (PDF, 96KB) or on a separate piece of paper. Although she made a capital loss from collectables, she cannot reduce her other capital gains by this amount. However, she can carry this amount over so that if she makes a capital gain from collectables in the future, she can deduct this capital loss from her capital gain on a later tax return. If Kathleen has no other capital losses from the current year or earlier income years, she will now write the amount of $500 at V Net capital losses carried forward to later income years item 18 on her tax return (supplementary section).
Kathleen still has to complete A Net capital gain.
End of example
Example 106: Capital loss on the sale of shares
Using the facts from example 105, we will also assume that Kathleen has the following to consider:
Capital loss on the sale of 600 shares for $3 each on 25 June 2011
Kathleen had bought these shares on 10 October 2010 and each has a reduced cost base of $4 (including incidental costs of acquisition and disposal).
Reduced cost base
600 x $4 =
600 x $3 =
Kathleen now has a $600 loss she can use to deduct from her capital gains. From the earlier example, we know Kathleen has a $3,000 capital gain calculated using the discount method.
She has another capital gain of $520 that she calculated using the 'other' method. Kathleen chooses to deduct the first $520 of her capital loss from the capital gain calculated using the 'other' method and to deduct the remaining $80 from the capital gain calculated using the discount method. Working this way gives her the best result:
'other' method capital gain
less capital loss of
discount method capital gain
less capital loss of ($600 - $520)
Kathleen makes a note that she has capital gains of $2,920 calculated using the discount method.
End of example
When applying your current year capital losses, you can choose the method that gives you the best result to reduce your current year capital gains. While you will need to consider your own situation, for most people the order that usually gives the greatest benefit and the smallest net capital gain is to apply the capital losses against capital gains calculated using the:
- 'other' method
- indexation method
- discount method.
Apply your current year capital losses against your current year capital gains and make a note of any capital gains remaining. If you have current year capital losses that can be applied this income year they must be applied here. You cannot choose to defer to a later year any amount that can be applied this year.
If your total capital losses for the year are more than your total capital gains, you will need to keep a record of the difference. This amount (your net capital loss) is carried over and used to reduce your future capital gains. There is no time limit on how long you can carry forward your net capital loss. If you have reduced your capital gains to zero, do not put anything at A Net capital gain.
Last modified: 08 Jul 2013QC 28010