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CGT when Selling your Home (Main Residence)

In general, your main residence (your home) is exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

What is a Dwelling?

A dwelling can be anything that is used wholly or mainly for residential accommodation. Certain mobile homes can also be a dwelling. Examples include:

  • A home or cottage;
  • An apartment or flat;
  • A strata title unit;
  • A unit in a retirement village; and
  • A caravan, houseboat or other mobile home.

Any land the dwelling is on is included as part of the dwelling but it only qualifies for the main residence exemption if the land and the dwelling are sold together. Also, the exemption applies to a maximum of two hectares of land (including the land on which the dwelling is built). Any excess is subject to capital gains tax. Land adjacent to the dwelling may also qualify for exemption.

Factors relevant in working out whether a dwelling is your main residence

  • The length of time you live there – there is no minimum time a person has to live in a home before it is considered to be their main residence;
  • Whether your family lives there;
  • Whether you have moved your personal belongings into the home;
  • The address to which your mail is delivered;
  • Your address on the electoral roll;
  • The connection of services (for example, phone, gas or electricity); and
  • Your intention in occupying the dwelling.

Main residence for only part of the time you owned it

If a CGT event happens to a dwelling you acquired on or after 20 September 1985, and that dwelling was not your main residence for the whole time you owned it, you get only a part exemption.

If a dwelling was not your main residence for the whole time you owned it, some special rules may entitle you to a full exemption or to extend the part exemption you would otherwise obtain. These rules apply to land or a dwelling if:

  • You choose to treat the dwelling as your main residence, even though you no longer live in it;
  • You moved into the dwelling as soon as practicable after its purchase;
  • You are changing main residences;
  • You are yet to live in the dwelling but will do so as soon as practicable after it is constructed, repaid or renovated and you will continue to live in it for at least three months; or
  • You sell vacant land after your main residence is accidentally destroyed.

Our dedicated team can assist you with issues relating to Capital Gains Tax and the sale of your home. Complete and submit the Express Enquiry form on the top right hand side of this page and we will contact you to discuss your enquiry or call us on 1300 QUINNS (1300 784 667) +61 2 9223 9166 to arrange an appointment.

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The Quinn Group operates Quinn Consultants, Quinn Lawyers, Quinn Financial Planning and Quinn Financial Solutions. The Quinn Group provides related information in regard to legal, accounting and financial planning issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation* *other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees.