Small Business Capital Gains Tax Concessions (CGT)

Introduction to Small Business Capital Gains Tax Concessions
Small business capital gains tax concessions in Australia offer significant tax relief to eligible small businesses when they dispose of assets. These concessions are designed to encourage investment and provide financial relief, making it easier for small businesses to grow and thrive. This guide will delve into the types of concessions available, eligibility criteria, benefits, and case studies to illustrate their impact.

Understanding Small Business Capital Gains Tax Concessions
"Small business capital gains tax concessions" are part of the broader tax relief measures provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). These concessions allow small businesses to reduce, defer, or eliminate capital gains tax (CGT) on the sale of business assets. The primary types of small business capital gains tax concessions are:

  1. 15-Year Exemption: Eligible businesses can disregard a capital gain if they have owned the asset for at least 15 years and are retiring or permanently incapacitated.
  2. 50% Active Asset Reduction: Businesses can reduce the capital gain on an active asset by 50%.
  3. Retirement Exemption: Provides an exemption of up to $500,000 on capital gains if the proceeds are used for retirement.
  4. Rollover: Allows deferral of capital gains if the proceeds are reinvested in a similar business asset.

Benefits of Small Business Capital Gains Tax Concessions

The small business capital gains tax concessions offer numerous advantages, making them a valuable tool for business owners:

  • Tax Savings: Significant reduction or elimination of capital gains tax liabilities.
  • Retirement Planning: Facilitates better financial planning for retirement through the retirement exemption.
  • Reinvestment Opportunities: Encourages reinvestment in business assets, promoting growth and sustainability.
  • Financial Relief: Provides crucial financial relief, particularly during transitions such as business sales or ownership changes.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for small business capital gains tax concessions, businesses must meet specific eligibility criteria:

  • Small Business Entity Test: The business must have an annual turnover of less than $2 million.
  • Maximum Net Asset Value Test: The net value of the business and related entities’ assets must not exceed $6 million.
  • Active Asset Test: The asset must be actively used in the business for at least half the ownership period or seven and a half years if owned for more than 15 years.
  • Significant Individual Test: At least one significant individual must own 20% or more of the business.

Case Studies

Case Study 1: Family-Owned Bakery

A family-owned bakery that has been in operation for over 20 years decides to sell its premises. The business qualifies for the 15-year exemption, allowing them to disregard the entire capital gain from the sale. This exemption provides substantial financial relief, enabling the owners to retire comfortably.

Case Study 2: Small Manufacturing Firm

A small manufacturing firm plans to reinvest in new machinery. By using the rollover concession, the business defers capital gains tax on the sale of old machinery by reinvesting the proceeds into new equipment. This strategy supports the firm’s growth and modernization efforts without immediate tax burdens.

Case Study 3: Consulting Business

A consulting business with an annual turnover of $1.5 million decides to sell its office building. The business utilizes the 50% active asset reduction and the retirement exemption, significantly reducing the capital gains tax liability and providing funds for the owner’s retirement plan.

How to Apply for Small Business Capital Gains Tax Concessions

Applying for small business capital gains tax concessions involves several steps:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure your business meets the necessary criteria.
  2. Calculate the Capital Gain: Determine the capital gain from the asset sale.
  3. Choose Applicable Concessions: Select the appropriate concessions based on your business’s situation.
  4. Maintain Records: Keep detailed records to support your claims, including asset ownership periods, usage, and financial statements.
  5. Consult a Tax Professional: Seek advice from a tax professional to maximize benefits and ensure compliance with ATO regulations.


Small business capital gains tax concessions provide vital tax relief and financial benefits to eligible businesses in Australia. By understanding and utilizing these concessions, business owners can significantly reduce their tax liabilities, support retirement planning, and promote business growth. The case studies of the family-owned bakery, small manufacturing firm, and consulting business illustrate the practical applications and advantages of these concessions.

If you’re considering selling business assets or planning for retirement, exploring small business capital gains tax concessions is a prudent step. Consulting with a tax professional can help you navigate the complexities and maximize the benefits available under these concessions.

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