Home / Individuals / Articles / Capital Gains Tax - Main Residence exemption lost for Foreign Residents

New legislation has just been passed by the Government that affects tax on your home if you live at the time of the sale overseas. 

If you sell your Australian main residence when you are foreign resident for tax purposes you will now typically be liable to Capital Gains Tax.  The tax would be calculated on the growth of the home from when you originally purchased the property, irrespective of the fact that you may have previously lived in the property for many years.

There are some limited exemptions and there is a transitional rule for homes that were acquired before 9 May 2017, which are then sold prior to 30 June 2020.

We recommend discussing the tax implications with us if you are intending on moving overseas and selling your home, or if you live overseas and wish to sell an Australian home that you previously lived in.  If you are a foreign resident it is possible to become an Australian tax resident again and then sell the Australian home to access the main residence exemption.  

The rules are complex and the tax implications could be quite significant given the growth in the Australian property market.  We recommend discussing the implications with us before selling your Australian home, or if you are moving overseas and retaining the home.

Rabintha Gunaratnam

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