How to Maximise Depreciation for Investment Property

One can consider depreciation of a property as a simple deduction on the actual worth owing to the ageing and wear and tear of the property that one owns. It can be termed as the deduction that results out of overtime assets. When it comes to investment, even the most experienced investor tends to overlook the benefits of a depreciation report. While there are accountants for a majority of tasks related to the calculation of taxes, there is hardly anyone who pays attention to depreciation schedule for investment property.

Property Tax Depreciation

The value of a building goes down as it gets older. This is because, in the majority of cases, such buildings show the signs of wear and tear. According to Australian Taxation laws, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in particular, a property owner can claim depreciation if they generate income from their property.

Tips for Property Tax Depreciation

While your accountant can take care of all the aspects related to your business, they are likely to miss out on a depreciation schedule for investment property. After all, it is a payment which the administration owes to you. Though all accountants never overlook the matter, a majority of them prefer to have it handy while preparing your tax return. So, it is a good idea to reach out to a quantity surveyor for an assessment of your property.

Do Older Properties Offer a Good Depreciation Value?

Contrary to the notion that older properties have no depreciation value, the truth is that every property has some sort of depreciation value if it is used by its owner to generate some kind of income. Though the depreciation of a new property is much more compared to an older one, the latter can also carry a greater value than by virtue of updates and renovations.

Why Attach Importance to Tax Depreciation for Your Property?

On an average, about 80% of investors do not mind promoting the depreciation deductions. If you happen to be one of them, it is high time you made efforts to maximise it as far as possible. What’s more, the ATO has a provision wherein it allows taxpayers to go back to two previous tax returns and amend them to claim deductions. So, if you haven’t been claiming depreciation on your property, utilise it to your fullest advantage.

What to Remember for a Higher Yield on Investment Property?

An important thing to remember in connection with depreciation is that a majority of homeowners forget to take renovation into account while filing their tax returns. With every renovation, there is also the possibility of the existing assets being replaced by something new. And this makes for a cogent reason to qualify for depreciation. The ATO provides for claiming the remnant of value for depreciation in such cases.

Never miss the opportunity of having a quantity surveyor inspect your property in accordance with investment property depreciation rules. Make sure that they document each and everything as the ATO is likely to take their report into account. Once the renovation is done, ensure that the same surveyor takes a look at the property and notes down the details of it to determine the assets that have been removed or replaced.

Final Thoughts:

As a standard rule, remember to only get in an experienced quantity surveyor when you plan to get your depreciation schedule done. While there are other low-cost DIY options that you can explore as well, you may eventually end up spending more. Furthermore, the remuneration of a quantity surveyor, even as it proves to be more than that of your liking, is 100% tax deductible. Thus, even if you pay them a higher fee, it wouldn’t hurt you as you would get it back.

Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Claim From the ATO

It is said that death and taxes are inevitable. One never knows when, where, or how death can strike. But you do know that taxes come back to haunt you at least once every year. One thing that you mustn’t do is evade taxes. But what if you could reduce the tax liability without breaking any rules. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has detailed rules about tax deductions. While most big-ticket options for tax reduction are well documented, there are many useful rules which not everyone knows about.

Let us look at two such tax refund options which you might not have heard about – one on work-related expenses, and the other on the depreciation of your property.

1. Work-Related Tax Deductions:

Let us first look at the ways your work-related expenses could help you lower your tax. In case you have taken up a course of study which pertains to your current employment, all expenses on it beyond the first $250 can be claimed as deductions. In case you can show that you are doing your office work from home, then the expenses incurred for that can be claimed. Some common examples are stationery, printers, computers, electricity expenses, and even chairs and desks. For some specific jobs, footwear expenses which are specific to their job can also be claimed. If you have subscribed to any magazines or journals related to your line of work, even that can be claimed under tax deductions.

Some of the items on the list above must have surprised you, but we are not done yet. You can claim a total deduction of up to $300 without submitting any proofs, but beyond that, you need to submit evidence. So let us look at some other work-related expenses where you can show receipts and reduce your tax. What about the work clothes you wear? Well, you can claim up to $1 per washing and ironing, provided you can show receipts. If you are paying your mobile phone and internet connectivity bills and have receipts to show, you can add them on if you are using them exclusively for work. The maintenance expenses of the vehicle you use to travel to and from work can also be claimed. The maximum distance allowable is 5000 kms, which means an average travel of 25 kms per day is admissible if you go to the office around 200 days in a year.

2. Property Related Allowances:

When you use a reputable agency like Deppro, they will tell you the small and of course the big expenses you can claim. In terms of assets, the bricks and mortars used in your property can also help you reduce your tax liability. You must remember that the land on which your house is constructed is not considered to be a depreciable asset, so you can’t claim tax depreciation on its value.

The ATO has recently changed its rules regarding claiming of tax depreciation. You need to hire a trustworthy agency who can send a qualified quantity surveyor to your property. The surveyor can make a list of all the assets and accordingly create a property asset list, based on which you can file your tax depreciation returns.

Investment Property Calculator – Learn About High Return Investments

Investors buy a property for two separate benefits. First, they can rent their property out which ensures regular, steady cash flow. Additionally, they would calculate depreciation over an extended period. This would be done with the help of an investment property calculator. This calculator takes into account the annual depreciation while filing Australian tax returns. But in order to get the best benefits, the calculator must be accurately constructed. The depreciation impacts must be correctly calculated.

Who can Benefit from the Investment Property Calculator?

If you are an investor yourself, now you already know how you can benefit. But, for examples, if you are a real estate professional, you too can pass on the benefits of tax depreciation to your clients. This will help you gain a sense of trust from your clients, which might even lead to repeat business and referrals. But what if you are a regular tax consultant with no relation to real estate? You might still have clients who invest in property. You could use a good investment property calculator. This would help you to do the calculations accurately.

Who Can Help You?

Whether you are a property investor, a tax consultant or a real estate professional, you can be assisted by employing a dependable firm to help you calculate tax depreciation. If you are looking for someone with expertise in Australian property rules, Deppro can help. Deppro will provide you with the services of registered quantity surveyors, who can help create accurate property reports.

Wrapping Up:

With the complexity in tax rules and the frequent updating of regulations, you need expert help. Expert help will ensure that you do not fall foul of the law. You can also get the maximum benefits by submitting the perfect investment property schedule.

Why You Need a Quantity Surveyor for Property Depreciation Schedules

A residential or commercial property construction is never easy. During construction, a record needs to be maintained for every expense. This could include materials, labor, registrations and other costs. A quantity surveyor keeps track of the construction costs. But that is not his only job. He also monitors the costs so that they stay within budget. The report of the quantity surveyor also helps create an accurate property depreciation schedule. That, in turn, would help claim the depreciation tax benefit and also sell the property at a fair rate.

Compliance Rule for a Property Depreciation Schedule

It is not enough for the property owner or the contractor to keep track of quantities and costs. That won’t be admissible by law in a property depreciation schedule. The tax claim must have a quantity survey done by a registered quantity surveyor. It can’t be done by a chartered accountant or by the owner himself. The property owner must use the services of an enlisted quantity surveyor for tax depreciation investment property.

Benefits of Quantity Survey

One benefit of using a registered quantity surveyor is the compliance to regulations. But there are more. You would also be able to get the most accurate measurements. They would be aware of the latest regulations and prepare reports accordingly. For example, did you know that there was a change in tax rules in 2017? Has this had an impact on tax depreciation schedule for rental property? A licensed surveyor would help you get the accurate tax allowances as well.

The Process of Completing a Quantity Survey

A good quantity surveyor would involve several site visits and accurate calculations. The surveyor would carry out physical visits several times. This would help him to take all necessary measurements. Once that’s done, the current regulations would help to make all the calculations.

An accurate property depreciation schedule would need several inputs. A registered quantity surveyor would help in making an accurate assessment of depreciation.

How your depreciation schedule give you bragging rights

Having a depreciation schedule isn’t anyone’s idea of a ‘must-have accessory’ but it pays off in more ways than one. Seasoned investors and business owners with several properties under their belts know well the bragging rights they’re afforded when they’ve got the depreciation schedule in their hands.

 

It’s less work
Tax time is the bane of most people’s existence . Organising account information, making sure expenses are correct and the like is a pain if you’re not organised. When you own investment properties, or brick-and-mortar stores, the amount of work increases substantially.

This is where the depreciation report comes in. After the quantity surveyor does their walk through and the company mails you the report, a large bulk of the tax reporting for those properties is complete. You don’t have to triple-check bills or receipts for a long time unless you do renovations.

 

It lasts for a LONG time
Ordering a depreciation report isn’t an annual task. It’s valid for the lifetime of the property. Companies like Deppro create reports that last forty years, so you’re set for life, or at least as long as you have the homes/shops in your portfolio.

This means, though, you must act quickly. As soon as you settle the deal with the real estate agent, get the depreciation experts in to assess. They prefer to see everything in the condition you bought it to make an accurate report. If the previous owners made renovations, then that’s a bonus as you’re eligible to claim their work in the report!

 

More (money) for you
The biggest bragging right of all? You’re paying less tax! Because you got the depreciation report done and passed off to your accountant in record time, there’s more money flowing back to you come tax time.

Fun fact: the fee for ordering the depreciation schedule is deductible.

A depreciation report isn’t glamorous, but its benefits are worth their weight in the size of your tax return. You can feel a little smug having less work on your plate organising expenses. Your accountant has the report, and you have the time to run your business.

How to get on top of property depreciation

Property depreciation is a crucial part of managing your taxes and rental property. If you don’t do it, you’re missing out on cash – lots of it. So how does one get on top of their tax depreciation?

 

First thing’s first: get an expert. Companies like Deppro prepare depreciation reports/schedules that are ATO compliant. Their staff evaluate items for their lifetime value and prepare the report, detailing how they will decrease in value over time. Things in and around the home fall into two categories: plant and equipment, or capital works

 

Second, get the expert to come as soon as you settle with the real estate agent. Quantity surveyors work best when they see the items in the condition you bought them. If the previous owner has done renovations, you can claim deductions on their work! The ATO will only accept a property depreciation report created by a quantity surveyor, not an accountant. This is because they’re the most qualified to do it. You wouldn’t expect someone who estimates material costs for a living to write your tax return.

 

That said, the third step is to get your accountant on your side. They help you with your tax return every year, making sure you’re not missing anything you’re eligible to claim. The accountant will treat the property and depreciable items as another asset to claim. They’ll need the property depreciation schedule to properly write out the returns over the years.

 

Another helpful way to get on top of property depreciation is to make  sure you’re buying a property that will pay for itself over the years. A house or apartment that’s recently renovated and meets the criteria to generate high rental income is ideal.

 

Property depreciation is difficult to wrap your head around. To get on top of it, it’s absolutely necessary to call in experts like Deppro not long after your settlement. When you’ve got the depreciation schedule in hand, you’re set for life, or at least the next forty years.

Buying an investment property for under $500,000

By Paul Bennion, Managing Director of DEPPRO

 

In most capital cities of Australia, apart from Melbourne and Sydney, there are still a plentiful supply of properties priced for sale under $500,000. This includes Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart. Major regional centres such as the Gold Coast in Queensland and Bunbury in Western Australia have this abundance of properties as well. In Perth, for example, it’s now an investors paradise. There’s many properties currently listed for sale under $500,000 located within a 20 kilometre radius of the CBD.

 

$500,000 is around half the median house price of Sydney. Properties in theses competitively priced capital cities offer a low risk entry into the property market. There’s added potential for capital growth moving forward. Yet, it’s important that first time investors take a cautious approach to their first property investment purchase. Realistically, they should focus on buying an investment property for under $500,000.

 

It’s an unfortunate fact that too many first-time investors financially over expose themselves. They buy an expensive investment property that limits their ability to purchase more in the future. This is especially the case if they purchase an expensive property in the wrong location. That could result in a financial nightmare. In contrast, buying a lower priced property that’s got the potential for strong capital growth is an important building block to creating a successful property portfolio.

 

Lower priced properties tend to have higher rental returns. This is important in a climate of rising interest rates, with the major banks increasing rates for investors over recent months.

 

Issues you should consider when buying a lower priced property include:

 

  • Spend time researching all aspects of property market before even looking for an investment property. First time property investors need to consider factors like negative or positive gearing, rental returns and depreciation.

 

  • Past trends in property values will generally indicate future trends. Therefore, it’s wise to examine the long-term capital growth rates of the suburb.

 

  • Take a broad approach to buying an investment property. Most first-time property investors buy a property in their local neighbourhood because they’re familiar with the area. By taking a narrow approach to the location of the investment property, first time investors severely limit their options.

 

  • Target suburbs in lower priced areas that have a higher number of properties for sale. A simple tip is to check the internet and weekend papers. This helps investors discover areas with a larger number of property ads.

 

  • When you have selected a suburb, don’t make an emotional decision when choosing a specific home. Most first-time investors purchase a property they’d like to live in. It’s important to remember that the investment property must appeal to a tenant who’ll be paying the rent.

 

  • Check out any planning changes proposed for the suburb. Many local governments are undertaking reviews of zoning that potentially have a major impact on property values. For example, a property that was purchased for a single residential use and then rezoned by the local council, as a triplex site. The property in turn notably increases in value.  The planning department of a local government can inform first time investors of any proposed zoning changes.

 

  • Check out any planned infrastructure changes in an area you’re interested in buying. For example, an upgrade of a local shopping centre or a new railway station will make a major impact on local property values.

 

  • Make sure that there are tenants prepared to rent your property. Rental income is a key factor in serving the loan. If you can’t find a tenant, then you’ll have problems keeping the investment property over the longer term.

 

  • Check your finances before you consider buying anything. If you have pre-approval finance it will allow you to move more quickly to secure the right investment property.