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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.