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  • Timing of acquisition

    You need to establish exactly when you acquired your CGT asset because:

    • CGT doesn't apply if you owned it before CGT started on 20 September 1985 (though major improvements to a property since may be subject to CGT)
    • the rules about how you work out your capital gain or loss have changed over time
    • how long you have had it may affect how you work out your capital gain.

    Generally, the time you acquire a CGT asset (your acquisition date) is when you become its owner, most commonly because you've bought it or received it as a gift.

    However, there are two common situations where your acquisition date is likely to be different from the date you become the owner:

    • when you buy an asset under contract and don’t take immediate possession, such as with real estate – in this case your acquisition date is the time you enter into the contract (normally the date on the contract) and not the date of settlement (except for certain transfers to trusts)
    • when you inherit a CGT asset – in this case the acquisition date is the date of death of the person who bequeathed it to you.

    See also:

    Last modified: 17 Jul 2017QC 52165