A beginner’s guide to a depreciation schedule

A depreciation schedule is a necessary tool that every property investor or business owner must have if they want to pay less tax and recover debt faster. It has been said that in some circles up to 80% of investors don’t know that they can depreciate their investment property, some don’t even understand what depreciation is.

 

Claiming the property and the items inside it on your tax return will give you a higher return, but not straight away. Items depreciate over time, and their depreciation costs will increase the longer an investor owns them because they’re given a ‘lifespan’ for their usefulness. Any item, from the fire alarm in the ceiling to the carpet on the floor, depreciates in value. Items under $300 are instant write-offs.

 

The depreciation schedule

It always contains two categories: capital works, and plant and equipment. Capital works are part of the property itself and any renovations done to the structure. Work done to the kitchen, the carpets, and even the patio gets included in capital works depreciation.

 

The plant and equipment category is comprised of items that can easily be moved out of the home or commercial premises. Whitegoods, furniture, electricals, and even rubbish bins are included. This is the category that some investors have trouble with because they don’t know they can even claim rubbish bins as an instant write-off.

 

The depreciation calculations, though, rarely get done by the investor who owns the property; this is a job for a quantity surveyor. After the property settlement, the new owners must get a surveyor in as soon as possible so they can make an accurate assessment. They’re the ones who write up the depreciation schedule. They calculate the value of the items in the home and how they’ll decline in value over time. Depreciation schedules last forty years, starting from the settlement date.

 

Investors don’t have to worry about working the depreciation schedule into their tax return, either. Once the quantity surveyor has completed their assessment, the investor’s accountant can handle the rest. They use the schedule as a guide to assist in making an accurate return. They’ll do their best to make sure their client pays as little tax, and gets the best refund, possible.

 

Business owners without a depreciation schedule are missing out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the time they own a property. Contractors like Deppro come to assess what their clients can claim, and work hard to ensure they get the maximum amount back.

Quantity surveyors and your tax depreciation schedule

Who writes your tax depreciation schedule? Your trusted quantity surveyor does. You can’t get a schedule without them for a variety of reasons.

 

How early can I engage Deppro as my quantity surveyor?

You can engage Deppro very early in building projects. In fact quantity surveyors are more often associated with building and construction during initial project stages. They look at the building plans and the list of materials required, and from that they estimate costs.

 

Quantity surveyors work in a field that has the potential to take them around the world. Where there’s a building site, their services are required. They’re in their offices the  majority of the time writing reports and analysing information, though site trips are frequent.

 

Education

Before they work on building sites or for tax depreciation firms, an aspiring quantity surveyor attends university for their bachelor’s degree. These studies centre around urban development, construction design, engineering, and some economics specialities.

 

In Brisbane, for example, students enrol in a Bachelor of Urban Development (Honours) (Quantity Surveying and Cost Engineering). Students learn about cost engineering, business and tax law, architectural design, and more. By the end of the course they’re versed in building design, able to handle costing queries, and make effective property analyses.

 

Why not my accountant?

Your accountant is there for your financial needs. It’s their job to give advice and handle your statements, invoices, and returns. They aren’t licensed or versed in how to value property and all of the specifics of materials inside.

 

The ATO won’t accept a tax depreciation schedule from anyone else. Deppro’s quantity surveyors are qualified to make site visits, analyse the data and estimate the costs. They use critical thinking and analytical skills when looking over a property. Through this you’re guaranteed a thorough report that gives you maximum benefits.

 

The tax depreciation schedule is a ticket to the best return for anyone with an investment or commercial property. It contributes to your tax return, boosting it by tens of thousands over the time you have the investment in your portfolio. Deppro’s quantity surveyors are highly educated, accurate in their estimations, and accredited by the ATO, setting you up for nothing but success.

The tax calculator; an essential tool for good business

Deppro’s tax calculator, depreciation services, and expert advice give investors around Australia the boost their efforts deserve. It’s not just property investors who take advantage of these services. Real estate agents and tax professionals partner with Deppro for reliable depreciation. Business owners with one commercial property (or several) will find that the online tools will make life easier to manage.

The tax calculator

Run as a free service through Deppro’s website, it requires this data to work:

  • Purchase price
  • Property type
  • Location
  • Date of settlement
  • Area in meters squared, and
  • Year of construction

The result is generated within seconds. The ‘report’ you’re given is an overview of what the comprehensive report will look like. Here’s an example:

tax calculator estimate

This report assumes no capital works are scheduled for the building, hence the nil values in that column. But even without this category in depreciation, your building will add over six thousands dollars to your returns in three years.

The property depreciation tax calculator gives Deppro customers an idea of what their depreciation schedule will look like. After using it, the customers call Deppro for a quote and set up an appointment with one of their quantity surveyors to inspect their property. Inspections are recommended as soon as the settlement with the agent is complete. Quantity surveyors perform better work when they see everything first hand in its original condition at purchase.

The depreciation schedule and the tax calculator are useful for your accountant, too. Because of tax laws and different areas of study, accountants can’t write depreciation schedules themselves. They use the report to create a detailed return, instead. Depreciation schedules are ATO compliant only when written by a quantity surveyor. The accountant is the next link in the chain for customers to claim the maximum amount on their return.

It’s said that as many as 80% of property investors don’t know they can claim depreciation, a lot of them are missing out on this extra income that could help them expand. It’s common practice to use the money for paying off debts. Investors even use it to put down initial payments on a new property. The tax calculator, an ATO-compliant depreciation schedule and a skilled accountant are tools that you can’t go without if you want to do good business.

Depreciation on investment property makes life easier

Investors and business owners order depreciation on investment property so they can efficiently handle expenses. Many investors, though, don’t know about depreciation and how it can make their lives easier. It absolutely pays off financially, and there’s other perks as well.

Most people don’t think about taxes everyday, but the professionals do. Ordering a depreciation report on investment property removes a lot of guesswork and takes the pressure off their minds. Thanks to the experts, they can make accurate deductions for the time they own the properties in their portfolios. Deppro’s reports last forty years, long enough to hold the property and sell it on.

Access to a depreciation schedule is easy for any investor, whether they’re just starting out or played the game for a while. Companies like Deppro exist to help people at any stage of their investment game. They’ll explain how the report works, how items are categorised, and what to do after the clients get the depreciation schedule in their hands. This makes life easier, especially for newcomers, because the experts are taking care of everything.

When you ask the experts for help with depreciation for investment property, you’re also getting an education. Deppro guides their clients through the process of ordering the report and how to use it to maximise deductions. You’ll also learn what a quantity surveyor does, and what items will fall under ‘capital works’ if you ever renovate your property.

When you get expert help for depreciation on investment property you’re making less work for yourself. You get a depreciation schedule that lasts for decades and saves you worrying about accurate numbers. The report, and the expert help that comes with it, is accessible to anyone at any stage of building a portfolio. You’ll also learn a few things along the way, like how to use the report for taxes, and whether you can claim the new carpet for the office as a deductible expense (yes, you can).

What everybody ought to know about tax depreciation

There’s experts out there, like Deppro, who efficiently handle tax depreciation so their clients can get the best possible return. Seasoned property investors know about tax depreciation and how to claim deductions every year. This article is for the first-time investors wanting to get in the market, but not quite able to wrap their head around depreciation.

 

  • It’s a claimable expense

Tax depreciation is deductible from your income, giving you a greater tax return.

 

  • You need a depreciation schedule

This is absolutely necessary so investors and business owners can claim the maximum amount over time. Depreciation schedules begin from the settlement date and estimate the value of taxable items over their useful lifetime.

Getting a depreciation schedule takes the guesswork out of evaluating items in your property as the years pass. Quantity assessors, like those who work for Deppro, will do an inspection. The depreciation company uses these to write a report and a depreciation schedule. These are delivered to the client within the month. This often overlooked information helps investors significantly boost their returns.

 

  • You can buy more properties

The money earned back from tax depreciation lessens the debt investors take on when they buy property. It’s common for them to use the extra funds to expand their portfolio. Once they do, they repeat the process of getting a depreciation assessment.

 

  • The report isn’t an annual thing

The quantity surveyor will only need to visit the property once. They’ll take pictures and make notes before heading back to the office and drawing up the report, outlining the values of the items they see. If you do renovations on the home, though, you will need to update this report for an accurate schedule. You’ll get in trouble with the ATO if you make a claim with false information.

 

  • ATO approval

The depreciation schedule must come from a registered tax agent so that it complies with guidelines from the ATO.  Deppro’s quantity surveyors are educated, accredited, and take pride in providing accurate reports.

Rental property depreciation mistakes to avoid

Rental property depreciation is a bit of a mouthful but it’s an essential part of owning an investment property. Everyone makes mistakes when it comes to complicated tax matters, and that’s the reason why clients come to Deppro for professional help. We list a few common mistakes (plus more here) so you can avoid them.

 

  • People don’t depreciate. Ever.

80% of property investors neglect having their rental property assessed for depreciation. This mistake costs them thousands of dollars over the time they own the house, with the money they could earn going back into tax instead.

Deppro calculates that getting a depreciation report can earn investors back  60% of the property’s purchase price. These funds are often used to save for future properties.

 

  • Confusing the categories

The deprecation specialists place items of value into two categories: plant and equipment, and capital works.

Plant and equipment: The owners often move these into the house when they buy it, and they can be removed just as easily. Items in this category include:

  • Hot water systems
  • Air-con units
  • Furniture
  • Whitegoods
  • Curtains

The other category is capital works. These items are built into the house. They include:

  • Cupboards
  • Clotheslines
  • Fences
  • Timber (decking)
  • Bathroom fixtures

There’s more information from the ATO about assets eligible for depreciation in this PDF.

 

  • People overlook potential deductions

Investors make this mistake a lot because they don’t know what they can claim. This all adds up to a larger depreciation on the report the new owner receives. Claimable items include something as large as a swimming pool to something as innocuous as a smoke alarm. These potential deductions leave investors out of pocket when they’re not claimed.

If you’re an investor and don’t have a depreciation schedule, you’re missing out on thousands of dollars in returns every year. Those who do have a schedule are liable to make mistakes, like confusing what item goes into which category. To avoid mistakes like this, get an expert like Deppro on your side to take the guesswork out of rental property depreciation.