Intangible capital improvements made to a pre-CGT asset

The Australian Taxation Office has issued an opinion regarding “parts” of an asset which many advisers consider controversial. 

 

 

It provides that for the purposes of the “separate asset” rules, some intangible capital improvements can be considered separate capital gains tax (CGT) assets from the pre-CGT asset to which the improvements are made.  This applies if the improvement cost base is more than the improvement threshold for the income year when CGT event happened, and it is more than 5% of the capital proceeds from the event.

This can result in part of the sale of pre CGT asset being fully taxable (with no 50% discount).  Hence, extra care is required when selling.

An example could be the sale under a single contract of an operating hotel where the freehold was acquired prior to 1985, but (arguably) the goodwill is generated after.

 

 

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