It can sometimes be the case that spouses can have different main residences at the same time. When this occurs, special CGT rules apply to in effect provide only one CGT main residence exemption over this period. However, important decisions and choices may need to be made to optimise the tax outcome in this case (or avoid an adverse outcome).

While in most cases spouses will have a single main residence in which they live together, there may be times when they are separated, for example due to work commitments, where they have two different main residences over the same period.

Where this is the case, the spouses have a choice of two options:

  1. choose one of the dwellings as the main residence for both spouses for that period, or
  2. nominate the different homes as each individual spouse’s main residence for that


Where option 2 is chosen, the application of the main residence exemption is determined as follows:

  • where a spouse’s interest in the nominated dwelling is 50% or less, the nominating spouse will be entitled to an exemption on that interest for the whole period where the spouses have different homes
  • where the relevant interest is greater than 50%, the nominating spouse will only be entitled to an

exemption in respect of that interest for half the period where the spouses have different homes.

Put simply, the spouse will either get half an exemption for the full period or a full exemption for half the period. Readmore

Monthly Newsletter – October 2019 – CGT when spouses have different main residences