Australian tax laws can be complicated even to experienced accountants, which means that they can be nearly impossible to navigate for the average person. Sure, you might have finally figured out how to fill out your own tax return at the end of the year, but what about capital gains tax?
What is capital gains tax?
Capital gains tax (CGT) is tax that you pay on the sale of a property or other investment. It only applies to the profit or loss that you made on the sale, which means that you have to be careful when calculating CGT. For example, if you bought an investment property for a million dollars in the past, and then went on to sell it for two million some time later, you would have made a capital gain of a million dollars. This capital gain needs to be added to your tax return, and you will have to pay tax on it.
What is the taxation rate for CGT?
The CGT taxation rate can actually be a little bit confusing to work out. A lot of people think that you have to pay tax on the entirety of your sale. This is not the case. You will only ever pay tax on a capital gain, and you can claim capital losses back on your tax return.
If you have held an asset for more than 12 months, you will get a discount on your capital gains. Instead of adding the entire gain to your tax return, you will only need to add half of it. This means that you will only pay tax on half of your capital gains. Once your capital gain amount has been worked out, it is added onto your normal income tax return, and you will pay normal tax rates on it. The actual amount of tax you pay will depend on your total income and on what tax bracket you end up falling into.
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