Capital Gains Tax

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Capital Gains Tax

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Capital Gains Tax

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Dave Solomon is 59 years of age and is planning for his retirement. Following a visit to his financial adviser in March of the current tax year, Dave wants to contribute funds to his personal superannuation fund before 30 June of the current tax year. He has decided to sell the majority of his assets to raise the $1,000,000. He then intends to rent a city apartment and withdraw tax-free amounts from his personal superannuation account once he turns 60 in August of the next year. Dave has provided you with the following details of the assets he has sold:
a. A two-storey residence at St Lucia in which he has lived for the last 30 years. He paid $70,000 to purchase the property and received $850,000 on 27 June of the current tax year, after the real estate agent deducted commissions of $15,000. The residence was originally sold at auction and the buyer placed an $85,000 deposit on the property. Unfortunately, two weeks later the buyer indicated that he did not have sufficient funds to proceed with the purchase, thereby forfeiting his deposit to Dave on 1 May of the current tax year. The real estate agents then negotiated the sale of the residence to another interested party.
b. A painting by Pro Hart that he purchased on 20 September 1985 for $15,000. The painting was sold at auction on 31 May of the current tax year for $125,000.
c. A luxury motor cruiser that he has moored at the Manly Yacht club. He purchased the boat in late 2004 for $110,000. He sold it on 1 June of the current tax year to a local boat broker for $60,000.
d. On 5 June of the current tax year he sold for $80,000 a parcel of shares in a newly listed mining company. He purchased these shares on 10 January of the current tax year for $75,000. He borrowed $70,000 to fund the purchase of these shares and incurred $5,000 in interest on the loan. He also paid $750 in brokerage on the sale of the shares and $250 in stamp duty on the purchase of these shares. Dave has contacted the ATO and they have advised him that the interest on the loan will not be an allowable deduction because the shares are not generating any assessable income. 
Dave has also indicated that his taxation return for the year ended 30 June of the previous year shows a net capital loss of $10,000 from the sale of shares. These shares were the only assets he sold in that year.
a. Based on the information above, determine Dave Solomon’s net capital gain or net capital loss for the year ended 30 June of the current tax year.
b. If Dave has a net capital gain, what does he do with this amount?
c. If Dave has a net capital loss, what does he do with this amount? 

a. As per the information available in the given question, Dave Solomon is preparing for retirement and hence has sold a host of assets which were held by him. As a result of liquidation of these assets, his retirement corpus is increasing in value but simultaneous there could be potential tax implication of these in the form of capital gains or capital losses. The discussion of this on the various transactions is carried out below.

Residence (St. Lucia)
In order to procure the desired amount of funds in the superannuation fund, Dave liquidates the house located at St. Lucia in which he is residing for the past 30 years and now plans to take refuge in a rented apartment. Based on the given period of residence, it would be just to conclude that Dave would have acquired the residence in 1986. Since, the acquisition of the asset has been acquired after September 20, 1985, hence the requisite capital gains or losses would be vital as the same would be subject to CGT (Capital Gains Tax) as per ITAA, 1997 (Sadiq et. al., 2015).
However, even though the residence is not exempt from CGT, but on account of the main residence consideration, concession in capital gains to the extent of full rebate may be claimed as per Division 118 ITAA, 1997. But for claiming this, the house needs to be main residence which in turn requires the fulfilment of the two conditions listed below (Barkoczy, 2015).
i. It is imperative for the taxpayer to reside in the house under consideration from the time the house was purchased by the current taxpayer.
ii. Further, it is essential that the house should not have been used for deriving income through renting or any other activity. 
It is apparent from the information given that both the conditions are satisfied as Dave has resided in this house since purchase and besides no information has been provided in the case which indicates the usage of the house for deriving commercial gains. As a result, the house at St. Lucia would be considered as Solomon’s main residence and capital gains tax would not be applied on any capital gains derived from the house (Gilders et. al., 2015). 
The painting has been bought after the introduction of the capital gains tax which became effective on September 20, 1985 and this is the exact date on which the painting has been purchased, thus capital gains tax would be applicable. The capital gains tax on the painting would be computed as shown below.
Cost price of painting purchased by Dave = $ 15,000
Proceeds on sales derived from painting = $ 125,000
Capital gains realised on liquidation of painting = 125000 – 15000 = $ 110,000
Considering that the painting has been held for a period greater than one year, thus the capital gains derived in this case would be termed as capital gains of long term (Sadiq et. al., 2015).
Luxury Boat
The luxury boat has been bought after the introduction of the capital gains tax which became effective on September 20, 1985, thus capital gains tax would be applicable.
Cost price of luxury boat purchased by Dave = $ 110,000
Proceeds on sales derived from luxury boat = $ 60,000
Capital losses realised on liquidation of luxury boat = 110000-60000 = $ 50,000
Considering that the luxury boat has been held for a period greater than one year, thus the capital gains derived in this case would be termed as capital losses of long term (Sadiq et. al., 2015). 
The luxury boat has been bought after the introduction of the capital gains tax which became effective on September 20, 1985, thus capital gains tax would be applicable.
Cost price of shares purchased by Dave = $ 75,000
Proceeds on sales derived from shares = $ 80,000
Since there are other costs which are part of the normal buy-sell transaction, hence in accordance with Section 110-25, the share cost base will be computed by adding on the various incidental costs along with the financing costs in accordance with Section 110-25. The incidental costs here include the brokerage charges along with the stamp duty. The interest charges are not included in the cost base when the same is available for deduction but in Solomon’s case as per the advice by ATO, the interest charges would contribute to the cost base for shares (Barkoczy, 2015).
Based on the above, the total share cost base = 5000 + 250 + 75000 + 750 = $ 81,000
The money derived from liquidation of shares = $ 80,000
Share sale related capital losses realised by Dave = 81000 – 80000 = $ 1,000
The total capital gains derived from the transactions discussed above by Dave = 110000 – 50000 -1000 = $ 59,000
It is given in the case study that Solomon had incurred a capital loss of $ 10,000 in the previous year on account of the shares being sold off and thus, the precious year capital loss is brought forward to the current year and adjustment is made for determination of gains in the tax year given (Gilders et. al., 2015).
Net capital gains after adjustment of the losses carried ahead from previous years = 59000 – 10000 = $ 49,000
The capital gains made above by Solomon are essentially long term and taking into consideration the fact that Solomon is individual, hence a 50% discount in capital gains can be claimed by him.
Hence, net capital gains obtained by Solomon that would be subject to CGT = 0.5*49000 = $ 24,500
b. Solomon in the given case has made a net gain in capital terms and thus considering the prevalent capital gains tax rate of 30%, applicable CGT liability for the taxpayer = 24500*0.3 =$ 7,350
c. In the event, Solomon incurs capital losses in the year FY2016, then these losses along with the losses that have been already made last year would be added and the their total is taken ahead and would be adjusted against possible capital gains made in the near future. Additionally, these accumulated losses would be carried ahead till the time the same is adjusted completely (Deutsch et. al., 2015). 
ATO 2015, How to calculate your FBT, Australian Taxation Office,
Barkoczy, S 2015. Foundation of Taxation Law 2015, 7th edn, CCH Publications, North Ryde
Deutsch, R, Freizer, M, Fullerton, I, Hanley, P, & Snape, T 2015. Australian tax handbook, 8th edn, Thomson Reuters, Pymont
Gilders, F, Taylor, J, Walpole, M, Burton, M. & Ciro, T 2015. Understanding taxation law 2015, 8th edn, LexisNexis/Butterworths.
McCouat, P 2012, Australian GST legislation. 17th edn, CCH Australia Limited, North Ryde
Sadiq, K, Coleman, C, Hanegbi, R, Jogarajan, S, Krever, R, Obst, W, and Ting, A 2015, Principles of Taxation Law 2015, 8th edn, Thomson Reuters, Pymont 
Wilmot, C 2012,  FBT Compliance guide, 6th edn, CCH Australia Limited, North Ryde. 

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