Main residence exemption

Capital gains or capital losses from dwellings are ignored for CGT purposes where the dwelling was owned by an individual and was the individual’s main residence throughout the ownership period. A partial exemption may arise where the residence was partly used for income-producing purposes at the same time or where the property was only used as a main residence for part of the time it was owned.

The following rules extend the main residence exemption:

  • A dwelling is treated as a taxpayer’s main residence from the time it was acquired if it is moved into at the first practicable time for the taxpayer to do so.
  • Where a taxpayer acquires their next main residence before disposing of the previous main residence, the taxpayer is entitled to claim the main residence exemption on both residences for a period of up to six months.
  • If a residence ceases to be the taxpayer’s main residence, the taxpayer may use it for income-producing purposes and choose to continue to treat that residence as a main residence for a period of up to six years, provided the taxpayer does not treat another residence as the main residence at the same time. It should be noted that the six-year period starts from when the property is used for income-producing purposes and resets each time the taxpayer moves back into the premises and uses it as a main residence again. This concession is only available in circumstances where, prior to it being used for income-producing purposes, the dwelling was used as a main residence.
  • The main residence exemption can be applied to land for up to four years where the taxpayer builds on the land or repairs, renovates or finishes building a dwelling on the land