28 Sep 2017

CU LAB: Doing Business in Australia – Do I need to pay tax if I sell my Australian investments?

When will Australian Capital Gains Tax apply to foreign investors? Find out from Mark Friezer in this video.

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Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.


Australia has a comprehensive capital gains tax regime but we only tax foreign investors in Australian companies to the extent to which the company has substantial real property investments.

In other words, if you own shares in a company in Australia which doesn't, then you can sell those shares free of Australian capital gains tax.

I should also note that Australia has recently introduced a non resident capital gains tax withholding regime. So where the vendor of shares in an Australian company is a non resident the purchaser, if that company has substantial property assets, is required to withhold tax at the rate of 12.5% on the gross proceeds.