Tax Guide for Separation and Divorce – Relevant CGT events

Tax Guide for Separation and Divorce – Relevant CGT events

Shortcuts to the Australian Taxation Office Family Breakdown advice


Relevant CGT events

Correct as of 28/06/2011 – Always check the ATO source webpage here for any updates or changes

For rollover to apply, one of the following events must happen. The transferor:

  • disposes of an asset to the transferee spouse (CGT event A1)


  • enters into an agreement with the transferee spouse under which
    • the right to use and enjoy a CGT asset passes to the transferee spouse
    • title in the asset will, or may, pass to the transferee spouse at the end of the agreement (CGT event B1).

    Note: There is no rollover if title in the CGT asset does not pass to the transferee spouse when the agreement ends.

  • creates a contractual or other right in favour of the transferee spouse (CGT event D1)


  • grants an option to the transferee spouse or renews or extends an option granted to them (CGT event D2)


  • owns a prospecting or mining entitlement, or an interest in one, and grants the transferee spouse a right to receive income from operations carried on by the entitlement (CGT event D3), or


  • is a lessor and grants, renews or extends a lease to the transferee spouse (CGT event F1).

There is no rollover for the transfer of trading stock.

Consequences of rollover not applying

If you and your spouse divide your property under a private or informal agreement (not because of a court order, a binding financial agreement, an arbitral award or another agreement or award referred to above), marriage or relationship breakdown rollover does not apply.

If this is the case, you must take any capital gain or capital loss you make on the transfer of the asset into account in working out your net capital gain (or net capital losses carried forward to future income years) on your tax return for that year.

The spouse to whom the asset is transferred is taken to have acquired the asset at the time of transfer.

Note: Special rules may apply if a spouse receiving property does not pay anything for it, or if the amount paid by one spouse for property owned by the other is greater or less than the market value of the property and they are not dealing at arm’s length. In these cases, the transferee is taken to have paid the market value of the property and the transferor is taken to have received the market value of the property. (You are said to be dealing at arm’s length with someone if each of you acts independently and neither of you exercises influence or control over the other in connection with the transaction. It depends not only on the nature of your relationship but also the quality of the bargaining between you.)


    Laurie and Jennie separated after living in a relationship for four years. To avoid legal costs, they decided that they would divide their assets without involving solicitors.

    During their relationship they had occupied a townhouse owned by Laurie. As part of their informal arrangement, they decided Laurie would keep it. They owned separate household items and decided each of them would keep whatever they had bought.

    They also agreed that Laurie would transfer his half share of their rental property to Jennie in return for $6,000. Under the arrangement, Jennie would also become liable for the whole of the mortgage after the date of transfer.

    Little or no bargaining took place between Laurie and Jennie and no other assets were transferred.

    Jennie is taken to have paid the market value of Laurie’s share of the rental property. (The $6,000 she actually paid and the mortgage liability she assumed from Laurie are ignored.) This is because:

    • CGT rollover did not apply (as the transfer did not happen because of a court order or a relevant agreement or award)
    • Jennie and Laurie did not deal with each other at arm’s length in connection with the transfer.

    Laurie is taken to have received the market value of his share of the rental property at the time it was transferred to Jennie. This means, in working out his net capital gain for the year he transferred the property to Jennie, he takes into account a capital gain or capital loss – based on the market value of his half share at that time.

Last Modified: Monday, 20 June 2011

Please note that to view the full family tax information guide, go direct to the ATO website here

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Correct as of 28/06/2011 – Always check the ATO source webpage here for any updates or changes Disclaimer:
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