Capital Gains Tax Return

A capital gain occurs when an asset is sold for more than it was initially purchased for. If you have experienced a capital gain, it must be included in your individual tax return, as a Capital Gains Tax Return schedule and these capital gains will then be taxed at your marginal tax rate. You may also be entitled to a 50% discount on your capital gain if you held the asset/s for greater than a 12 month period. However, if the asset was held for less than 12 months, then you won’t be entitled to the discount and tax will be applied on the total gain.

For small businesses, at the time of writing this article there were numerous CGT concessions available and hence we suggest you contact us regarding available CGT concessions given your circumstances.

It is important to consider the aspect of capital losses within a capital gains tax return, where capital losses occur when the sale price was lower than the purchase price of an asset. In this case, no gain was made, so no tax needs to be paid. Many taxpayers disregard capital losses; however, they should still be included in your tax return as they can be used to offset any current capital gain or even capital gain that could arise in the future. A common misconception about capital losses is that they can be used to reduce your taxable income, which isn’t true. Capital losses can only be used to reduce capital gains. If there are no capital gains, they are simply carried forward in each subsequent tax return. In a Capital Gains Tax Return, any previous capital losses could be offset. For this to happen though these losses need to be recorded originally.

Generally, all assets that were acquired after the introduction of the Capital Gains Tax are subject to the tax. There are, however, some exceptions to this, such as personal assets like your car, home, and furniture, as well as any asset that is solely used as business equipment or fittings in a rental property.

It is highly recommended that you keep records of all of the transactions relating to your assets, as this will ensure that the correct amount of tax is paid on your capital gain and all deductions are claimed to arrive at a loss (if applicable). The most important aspects to consider when keeping records are the following:

  • When the transaction took place.
  • The purpose of the transaction.
  • What parties were involved.

Common examples of records that will need to be kept are (for example: property sale):

  • Contract of a sale/purchase.
  • Expenses incurred during the sale/purchase.
  • Invoices for professional services from your accountant, lawyer and/or real estate agent.
  • Bank Statements if a loan was applicable.
  • Stamp Duty payment statement.
  • Building or contract to build (if applicable).
  • Evidences of payments made.
  • Settlement Statement.
  • Solicitor’s conveyancing statement of adjustments.

Calculating capital gains is quite complex, especially for residential real estate. Therefore, it is advisable to consult an accountant who is experienced in making sure that you pay the correct tax when it comes to tax time, so your tax saving could well be into the tens of thousand’s. Given the complexity of rules with regards to what is and not claimable and the add-backs involved a Capital Gains Tax Return needs professional involvement.

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