If you leave Australia to become a non-resident this is a capital gains tax event. The events are I1 and I2 which effectively calculate capital gains tax, based on the market value of all your CGT assets, on the date of departure. If you don’t make the election to be taxed on departure, then you will be taxed on the eventual sale of the asset. Given the recent demise of the 50% discount to non-residents, there will probably be few occasions moving forward where it will pay to defer the tax in this way.
Unfortunately, many people leave Australia unaware of the election, and by not making the election that they didn’t know about, they will remain liable for CGT on any CGT assets they held whilst in Australia that they sell after they have left. The election to pay the tax on departure is not available for Australian real estate, or entities mainly used to hold real estate – the full gain on these assets will always be taxable on eventual sale.
Finally (with the exception of real estate) it is an all or nothing election. You can’t pick and choose which assets to apply the election to.
So one more thing to think about as you pack those boxes!