Australia’s Fifty Percent Capital Gains Tax Discount: Is it Ready for Reform?
The research interests of Dr John Minas include tax law, tax policy, and capital gains tax (CGT). A focus of his research is the 50% CGT discount for individual taxpayers. The CGT discount is a preference for capital gains, introduced in the 1999-2000 financial year. Where the discount applies, half of a taxpayer’s net capital gain is included in assessable income. Although the CGT discount was recommended on claims that it would be a revenue-neutral policy change, there is a lack of evidence in the Australian context for a self-financing CGT discount.
In his award-winning PhD thesis, The Implications of Capital Gains Tax Rate Preferences for Personal Taxpayers in Australia, John estimated the capital gains realisations response for personal taxpayers in Australia. His estimates imply that the 50% CGT discount for personal taxpayers is likely to have caused a decrease in tax revenue. One of the objectives of John’s research is to contribute to a more informed and evidence-based debate about the implications of changes to the CGT rate. Such evidence is important to the revenue effects of rate changes.
“The 50% CGT discount stands out as an aspect of tax policy that is ready for reform, given that it appears to have lost significant amounts of revenue during the two decades that it’s been in operation” says John.
“Some of the recent proposals for tax reform have called for reductions in complexity, reducing statutory tax rates and broadening the tax base,” he says. “The removal of the 50% CGT discount would help achieve these objectives. It is likely that it would increase tax revenue, increase equity and fairness, and improve the simplicity of the tax system.”
Research that makes a difference
John Minas is a Senior Lecturer in the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and an Adjunct Research Fellow in the Law Futures Centre at Griffith University.
John’s research interests include taxation law, taxation policy and capital gains tax (CGT). He commenced his academic career at UTAS in 2010, prior to joining Griffith University in 2016 and returning to UTAS in 2019.
John has published in tax journals including Australian Tax Forum, eJournal of Taxation Research, and the Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association.
|Degree||Thesis title||University||Country||Date of award|
|PhD||The Implications of Capital Gains Tax Rate Preferences for Personal Taxpayers in Australia||University of New South Wales||Australia||2017|
|MIntTax||University of New South Wales||Australia||2009|
- Member of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association
- Member of the International Fiscal Association
John teaches taxation units to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Invited to present “The impact of the CGT discount on capital gains realisations: Evidence from Australia” at The Treasury in 2017.
- Capital gains tax
- taxation law
- tax policy
In 2016-17, as part of research team with academics at Curtin University, John was a recipient of Category 1 research funding from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). The final report from the project, “The income tax treatment of housing assets: an assessment of proposed reform arrangements” (AHURI Final Report No. 295), was published in 2018.
Recipient of the 2019 ATTA-OUP Doctoral Prize.
The Australasian Tax Teachers Association-Oxford University Press Doctoral Prize is awarded to a recently completed PhD thesis in taxation that is judged as making a significant contribution.
Fields of Research
- Taxation law (480106)
- Public economics - taxation and revenue (380115)
- Accounting, auditing and accountability (350199)
- Higher education (390303)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the law (450518)
- Public policy (440709)
- Other education (399999)
- Taxation accounting (350108)
- Management accounting (350105)
- Public economics - publicly provided goods (380114)
- Economics, business and management curriculum and pedagogy (390103)
- Personality and individual differences (520503)
- Information security management (460904)
- Sustainability accounting and reporting (350107)
- Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development (390102)
- Law reform (230405)
- Expanding knowledge in economics (280108)
- Teaching and curriculum (160399)
- Other law, politics and community services (239999)
- Pedagogy (160302)
- Public services policy advice and analysis (230204)
- Taxation (150210)
- Expanding knowledge in law and legal studies (280117)
- Preference, behaviour and welfare (150509)
- Other education and training (169999)
- Expanding knowledge in the information and computing sciences (280115)
- Learner and learning (160199)
- Expanding knowledge in psychology (280121)
- Expanding knowledge in education (280109)
- Expanding knowledge in the chemical sciences (280105)
- Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services (280106)
- Teaching and instruction technologies (160304)
Highlighted publications(2 outputs)
|2018||Journal Article||Minas J, Lim Y, Evans C, 'The impact of tax rate changes on capital gains realisations: Evidence from Australia', Australian Tax Forum, 33, (4) pp. 635-666. ISSN 0812-695X (2018) [Refereed Article]|
|2015||Journal Article||Evans C, Minas J, Lim Y, 'Taxing Personal Capital Gains in Australia: An alternative way forward', Australian Tax Forum, 30, (4) pp. 735-761. ISSN 0812-695X (2015) [Refereed Article]|
Journal Article(11 outputs)
|2021||Minas J, Maple A, 'A comprehensive CGT for New Zealand: 'political suicide' or tax policy saviour', Australian Tax Forum, 36, (1) pp. 71-102. ISSN 0812-695X (2021) [Refereed Article]|
|2021||Minas J, Minas J, 'Deductions for work-related expenses in Australia: an analysis of options for reform', Australian Tax Forum, 36, (1) pp. 53-70. ISSN 0812-695X (2021) [Refereed Article]|
|2020||Minas J, Freudenberg B, 'Australia's 50% CGT discount: Policy oversight?', Australian Tax Forum, 35, (1) pp. 88-107. ISSN 0812-695X (2020) [Refereed Article]|
|2019||Freudenberg B, Minas J, 'Reforming Australia's 50 per cent capital gains tax discount incrementally', eJournal of Tax Research, 16, (2) pp. 317-339. ISSN 1448-2398 (2019) [Refereed Article]|
|2018||Minas J, Lim Y, Evans C, 'The impact of tax rate changes on capital gains realisations: Evidence from Australia', Australian Tax Forum, 33, (4) pp. 635-666. ISSN 0812-695X (2018) [Refereed Article]|
|2015||Evans C, Minas J, Lim Y, 'Taxing Personal Capital Gains in Australia: An alternative way forward', Australian Tax Forum, 30, (4) pp. 735-761. ISSN 0812-695X (2015) [Refereed Article]|
|2015||O'Keefe P, Smith B, Shimeld S, Minas J, 'The Abandoned Education Cap Policy: Public Participation In Tax Reform Consultation', Australian Tax Forum, 30, (1) pp. 3-35. ISSN 0812-695X (2015) [Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: O'Keefe P; Smith B; Shimeld S
|2014||Minas JW, 'Data Choice in Capital Gains Realisation Response Studies - A Review', Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association, 9, (1) pp. 157-179. ISSN 1832-911X (2014) [Refereed Article]|
|2013||Minas J, Lim Y, 'Taxing capital gains - views from Australia, Canada and the United States', eJournal of Tax Research, 11, (2) pp. 191-215. ISSN 1448-2398 (2013) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 2
|2013||Minas J, Shimeld S, Bingham S, 'Using one-on-one interviews in tax teaching', Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association, 8, (1) pp. 55-76. ISSN 1832-911X (2013) [Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Shimeld S; Bingham S
|2011||Minas J, 'Taxing personal capital gains in Australia - is the discount ready for reform?', Journal of the Australasian Tax Teachers Association, 6, (1) pp. 59-67. ISSN 1832-911X (2011) [Refereed Article]|
|2019||Minas J, 'The Implications of Capital Gains Tax Rate Preferences', Oxford University Press, Australia ISBN 9780190324377 (2019) [Authored Research Book]|
|2018||Duncan AS, Hodgson H, Minas J, Ong-Viforj R, Seymour R, 'The income tax treatment of housing assets: an assessment of proposed reform arrangements', Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne, Vic, pp. 74. ISBN 978-1-925334-59-3 (2018) [Authored Research Book]|
Citations: Scopus - 4
Conference Publication(5 outputs)
|2014||Minas JW, 'Data Choice In Capital Gains Realisation Response Studies - a review', The Politics of Tax: 26th Australasian Tax Teachers' Association Conference, 20-22nd January, Griffith (2014) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]|
|2013||Minas J, Shimeld S, ''How would that change if ?': The use of interviews to assess international Masters students', Proceedings of the RMIT Accounting Educators Conference 2013, 18 November 2013, Melbourne, pp. 1-18. (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]|
Co-authors: Shimeld S
|2013||Minas JW, Shimeld SF, Bingham SA, 'Using one-on-one interviews in tax teaching', Australasian Tax Teachers Association Conference Website, 23-25 January 2013, The University of Auckland, New Zealand (2013) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]|
Co-authors: Shimeld SF; Bingham SA
|2012||Minas JW, 'Taxing capital gains - views from the experts', Conference Handbook, January 2012, University of Sydney (2012) [Conference Extract]|
|2012||Shimeld S, Bingham S, Minas J, 'Exploring Assessment: an intervention', RMIT Accounting Educators' Conference 2012 Handbook, 19 November 2012, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 1-22. (2012) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]|
Co-authors: Shimeld S; Bingham S
Grants & Funding
Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute 2016-17
Number of grants
- This EPJ develops, models and integrates innovative policy pathways for housing tax reform. Reform proposals are mindful of the prevailing barriers to reform as well as the need to develop implementation and transition strategies which are fiscallysustainable and politically viable while reducing distortions in national housing markets.
- Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute ($256,676)
- Grant-Research Project
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Eccleston RG; Atalay K; Duncan A; Flanagan KM; Hodgson H; Jacobs KA; Minas JW; Ong R; Verdouw JJ; Warren N; Whelan S; Yanotti MB; Yates J
- 2016 - 2017
- University of Tasmania ($5,000)
- Grant-New Appointees Research Grant Scheme (NARGS)
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Minas JW
|PhD||The Decision-Making Behaviour of Trustees of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds||2019|
|PhD||Are Laws Designed to Regulate Indigenous Alcohol Consumption in the National Interest?||2020|