What Tax Deductions Can I Claim When I Am Working From Home

Working from home has become the new normal. The major advantage that it offers is the greater level of flexibility. However, there is one thing that has no flexibility: no matter where we work from, our tax obligations still remain the same. Did you know that you may be eligible for a depreciation tax benefit for your incurred costs during the COVID situation as well? Yes, you read it right! You can claim certain costs related to work from home obligations. However, it must be noted that this only concerns the people who usually work from an office but due to the COVID pandemic, or any other reason outside their control, are currently working from home. You should also remember that you cannot claim the amount reimbursed in this case.

Methods for Calculating Your Tax Deduction While Working From Home

Taxpayers were generally using two different methods before 1 March 2020 for calculating home office tax deduction, the Fixed Rate Method and Actual Cost Method. And these are still applicable.

But as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) introduced of the Shortcut Method, which applies to the periods:

  • 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 for the income year 2019–20; and
  • 1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020 for the income year 2020–21

According to the ATO, extension in the period is possible. However, this depends on the length of time the pandemic disrupts normal operations.

The ATO depreciation rate under the Shortcut Method is 80 cents per hour. This is for all “running expenses”. While using this method, you must record the corresponding working hours at home.

Methods for Calculating Your Tax Deduction While Working From Home

You should fully do the office work from home and not just the minimal task. The below are items that can be claimed in part as work from home expenses as listed below:

  • Occupancy expenses like mortgage interest, rent, and other costs.
  • Heating, cooling, and lighting – this includes various household utility bills.
  • Home office equipment- this includes computers, telephones, and printers.
  • Work-related phone calls – this includes phone rentals or mobile usage for office work purposes.
  • Internet usage
  • Depreciation in the value of furniture and fittings – you can claim for furniture such as desks and cupboards which are used for home office.
  • Depreciation of office equipment and computers

It is always advisable to consult an expert for all the tax-related matters concerning the common tax issues and especially about the tax depreciation schedule for rental property.

Is There a Need to Follow Any Tax Depreciation Schedule While Working From Home?

With the short cut method, it is not required. In other cases, an accountant can help in calculating the depreciation value. But if you are running a business from home, an expert can guide you in preparing the federal tax depreciation schedule.

What Are the Capital Gains Tax Implications When You Work From Home?

If you are working from home, you do not have any capital gains tax (CGT) implications for your home. This applies when you run a business from home.

Conclusion

Today more people are working from home however, facing certain expenses that weren’t in the picture during the regular times. You can follow the above procedures for achieving the depreciation tax benefits. Understanding tax claims is a challenging process but, the shortcut method gives you a simple calculating option. All you need to do is maintain the record of your working hours and expenses. If in any doubt, contact a tax expert for advice.

Can I Back-claim for Depreciation on My Rental Property?

Did you own a property for several years but fail to claim depreciation? If so, this unfortunately also implies that you must have over-paid your taxes for all these years. You can heave a sigh of relief as you can claim back over-paid amount from ATO when you prepare your property depreciation schedule. However, your earlier tax lodgements and personal situation will decide how many years’ tax you can back-claim. You should also seek advice from a professional who will give you detailed information on this front.

How Many Years of Depreciation will you be able to Back-Claim?

As per ATO rules, the law has set some limits for amending your tax assessment. The time limit has been set for two years for individuals and small business organisations. For other taxpayers, the time limit is four years. And the time limit will be calculated as:

If you are a sole trader and get notice of assessment on November 12, 2017, the two-year amendment duration begins on November 13, 2017. It will end after two years on November 12, 2019. You must take everything into consideration when you decide to lodge an Australian tax return.

Amendment Request

You will be allowed to file more than one amendment request within a period of the review. It also implies that individuals are permitted to amend nearly 2 years earlier tax returns. If you happen to be the beneficiary of a trust, four years limit for amendments will apply. Additionally, all remaining entities like trusts, organizations, and self-controlled super fund may amend tax returns lodged in the last 4 years as a standard. Depreciation residential rental property helps in reducing your tax liabilities to a considerable extent.

How to Back-claim for Earlier Years’ Depreciation?

When you desire to back-claim for earlier years, you should file a request for an amendment to the ATO. The ATO will not be charge any fee in case you request an amendment. Additionally, you will not be required to send yet another tax return unless and until they ask you to0. You will be able to request an amendment in several ways. You should get in touch with an accountant as they have the expertise and can execute it with the least effort. We can cite an example. For instance, you bought a 2 years old investment property in the year 2017. But you were not aware that you could benefit by claiming depreciation. The good thing is that you will be able to request amendments for your 2019 and 20219 tax returns. You can also claim deductions in your 2020 tax return and in the coming years as well.

Conclusion:

You may claim depreciation for the years that you failed to claim. It is worth noting that ATO permits you to backdate depreciation by two years in several cases. You should evaluate all these factors prior to calculating your rental home returns. Also, properties constructed during various time periods must be claimed according to different available methods. There is no one set method for all the properties and, depreciation percentage will be calculated on the basis of the date when construction commenced on the property.

Why you Need a Depreciation Schedule when the Construction Cost is Known

As the financial year comes to an end, it becomes imperative to get your depreciation ATO tax depreciation schedule sorted. You gain several benefits of securing a depreciation schedule prior to June 30. It will help in enhancing your return and make the most of your investment. It is worth noting that a quantity surveyor report also consists of a schedule of depreciable assets also known as capital allowances. Meanwhile, a different deduction for the fall in the value of depreciating assets in a rental property can be claimed.

Given below are some of the points that you must be aware of the depreciation schedule:

1. Depreciation deduction:

The Australian Taxation Office permits the property owners to seek a claim for depreciation or fall in value as a deduction. Depreciation has been categorised as a non-cash deduction thus meaning an investor won’t need to spend money to be able to make a claim. It is for this reason that depreciation deductions are ignored. And, it becomes an expensive mistake for investors as depreciation deductions present huge taxation advantages. When tax time arrives, property owners should ensure they have claimed all the deductions for which they are eligible. Income-generating property owners must seek claims for property depreciation tax deduction linked to the structure of building along with plant and equipment assets.

2. Claim cost of schedule:

A depreciation schedule has got a one-off expense that continues until the life of the property or for forty years. It will ensure that the owners have claimed their respective depreciation entitlements precisely.  It is worth noting that the cost of the depreciation schedule is 100% tax-deductible. One of the major benefits of securing a depreciation schedule prior to June 30 is that investors can claim the fee straight back that financial year. Investors must estimate tax returns in a precise manner.

3. Partial year claims:

In the case that you purchased an investment property and are waiting for the next financial year for claiming a deduction, you may miss considerable savings. Investors will be able to claim partial year deductions for the tenure in which they acquired their properties before June 30. The depreciation values of assets are precisely adjusted in accordance with the period during which it was owned. For instance, if the property was owned or rented for six months, the owner can get 50% yearly deductions.

Conclusion:

Investors must arrange a depreciation schedule at their earliest convenience. Deppro quantity surveyors have expertise in preparing depreciation schedules that save our clients lots of money.

4 Commercial Property Depreciation Facts You Must Know

Many commercial property owners aren’t aware that they are eligible to claim depreciation on property. According to a study, approximately 80% of investors miss the benefits of their commercial property and end up losing plenty of money every year in Australia. It is imperative for all commercial property owners to claim depreciation. These deductions can significantly enhance the positive cash flow of an investor and diminish the negative cash flow. We have prepared a list of significant factors that property owners may consider in a bid to earn more from their commercial property.

Given below are the factors about commercial property depreciation:

1. Depreciation and how you can claim it:

According to the ATO, it is necessary for investors to prepare a report of their income-earning from their commercial property. This will prove useful when preparing their income tax assessment. And, property investors of commercial property are eligible to claim depreciation. Depreciation takes place when a property shows signs of wear and tear in its structure, fixtures & fittings over the years. It is considered to be a non-cash deduction which means that investors must not spend any amount to claim it. Property investors must calculate depreciation on rental property in an accurate manner to maximise their claim.

2. Life of a building:

Property owners will also be eligible to claim any latest renovations that took place since July 20 1982 snd, it doesn’t matter if it was carried out by an earlier owner. Additionally, plant and equipment depreciation can be claimed as well, irrespective of age. The instances of plant and equipment may include carpets, and ac units, among others. Expert quantity surveyors will carry out a property inspection and take images and prepare a list of additions made to the commercial property. They will offer an itemised tax depreciation schedule to property investors that include the availability of deductions for a period of 40 years. You may seek a Deppro review from our professionals, in case you encounter any confusion.

3. Depreciation of other items:

While preparing a commercial building property depreciation schedule, it may be tough to work out who is eligible to claim depreciation for specific items. Landlord and the sitting tenant will be able to claim depreciation for any fit-out made to a property. Tenants of commercial properties will be eligible to seek a claim of depreciation for any fit-out that they introduced. It may include blinds, shelving, and carpets, among others. Additionally, owners of a commercial property can also claim depreciation on any installed asset or assets left by a previous tenant.

4. Select a method:

After calculating depreciation, property investors may choose two methods for making a depreciation claim. This includes: diminishing value method and prime cost method – property investors can use either. Deductions will be calculated according to a percentage of balance you leave to subtract under the diminishing value method. Meanwhile, the deduction for every year can be calculated as a percentage of cost under the prime cost method.

Conclusion:

You must be aware of how to calculate depreciation for your commercial property accurately to maximise your gains. If you face any difficulty in calculating depreciation, use our Deppro contact number, and call our experts. They will help you calculate it accurately. You may consult their quantity surveyor as well who have achieved specialisation in tax depreciation.

Top 4 Tips for Maximising Depreciation Deductions in Your Hotel

When one mentions the word hotel, what springs to mind? Cozy rooms, tasty food, well-stocked wine cellars and men and women trying to make their guests comfortable. But behind the scenes, hotels have a lot of wastage (electricity, water and food). This wastage reduces their revenue and income. While hotels might look glamorous on the outside, they too need to save every dollar behind the scenes. One of the less known but very effective ways for hotels to save their hard-earned money is by filing the correct Australian tax return. This blog will tell you four easy ways to legally reduce your tax outlay for your hotel.

Hotel Depreciation Schedule

In case you are in the process of buying a hotel now, then the complete inventory of its assets would already have been made earlier. But you need not lose out on the available tax deduction on account of depreciating inventory/assets. You can still employ the services of a certified quantity surveyor and create a federal tax depreciation schedule. The assessment of different assets of a hotel is more complex than that for a residential property. The assets which qualify as ‘plant and equipment’ in a hotel have a separate listing in the ATO Depreciation rates. That is why a competent quantity surveyor can ensure that any claim you are eligible for doesn’t get missed out on. The quantity surveyor would also ensure that you do not pay tax for the same asset twice.

Make your renovations count

A hotel always needs to look its best at all times. That is the reason hotels undergo renovations or refurbishments quite frequently. As a hotel owner, you need to make sure that your depreciation schedule stays updated always. To ensure this, keep your quantity surveyor informed whenever you are planning an activity. They would advise you what to do with the assets you are replacing, and how to list it in your property report. Many hotel owners make the mistake of sending discarded items/assets to scrap. While the renovation is in full swing, keep your discarded assets aside, and also list out all the new fixtures and fittings being installed. At the end of the refurbishments, the quantity surveyor will make an overall assessment and update your depreciation schedule.

Try to stay within the industry

Like we mentioned before, hotels in particular and the hospitality industry in general, are quite different from others. While looking for a quantity surveyor, try to engage one who has extensive experience with hotels. That way, you will not need to explain your peculiarities to him, and he can easily understand your industry lingo.

Different treatments while buying new

We spoke earlier about situations where you are purchasing an existing property. If you do have a new hotel purchase, then you need to consult your quantity surveyor about how best to treat your assets. This will help you maximise your tax deductions and save money.

Conclusion:

If you are buying a hotel or own one, please make sure you get the best possible benefits of tax deductions on account of the depreciation of your property.

10 Commonly Overlooked ATO Tax Deductions

Taxes are especially painful to small and medium sized enterprise owners. Neither do they have the scale of a large company nor the agility of a startup. But the tax rules are equally applicable to such business owners. This is the reason such business owners often fret about their tax burden. If you are one such person, you should be happy to know that we have good news for you. There are several legal tax deductions that are allowed by the Australian Tax Office.

List of the Commonly Overlooked ATO Tax Deductions

Here is a quick list of Australian tax depreciation and other allowed deductions:

  1. Any new or second hand assets purchased for your business can help reduce your taxable amount by as much as $20,000 AUD. This is different from the fixed assets listed on your property depreciation tax deduction.
  2. Any Union fees paid can be reduced from taxable income under the D5 clause.
  3. All donations of $2 AUD or higher are actually eligible for exemptions. The conditions are that these contributions are made to charitable organisations.
  4. If you operate your business from home, it can provide some relief as well. Remember that this is different from the tax relief your home can provide in your tax depreciation schedule. Here we are talking of the occupancy cost that you incur for running your business from your home. Your expenses on printers, computers, and even licensed software could be claimed under this head. The only condition is that they have been used solely for your business.
  5. In case you are paying any insurance premium, there might be good news for you. This depends on the kind of insurance taken. It should be a policy to prevent loss of business income. Other regular insurance policy premiums cannot be claimed, though.
  6. If you are educating yourself or upgrading your knowledge, the expenses are protected under the ATO rules. This would include expenses like textbooks, professional journals, related travel etc., just to name a few.
  7. This is a good one. If your work is mostly outdoors, and you spend a lot of time in the sun, then there is something for you as well. All expenses on sunglasses and sun shades are considered as expenses made for the protection of your eyes, and can be claimed.
  8. As a business owner, connectivity costs are very vital but sometimes can be quite steep. No business owner can survive without spending money on internet connection at all times, or on mobile phone expenses. The good news is that these too can be claimed.
  9. Say you have employed a tax consulting agency to help you prepare your investment property depreciation schedule ATO. The expenses on fees etc. can also be duly claimed as legitimate business expense.
  10. We’ve left the scary one for last – no business is ever insulated from the bad times. In case your business suffers financial losses in any year, the tax rules also allow you to claim relief on those losses. That’s what they call a silver lining for a dark cloud.

Busting the 7 Myths of Depreciation Schedules

When it comes to tax depreciation, many myths have been floating around specifically regarding what property investors can claim. As you are aware, tax depreciation can benefit any person with an investment in assets or property. And, there are many who are not aware of the depreciation rules for rental property. You need to work out how much your investment property depreciates to claim these values during tax time. A tax depreciation schedule helps in making your rental property work for you. Here are some common myths of depreciation schedules below:

Myth#1: Commissioner’s actual life ruling needs to be utilised for all assets without any exception

Truth: The Commissioner of Taxation’s ruling is only applicable to the new depreciable property. The role of a quantity surveyor is to boost the depreciation deduction for his client. In order to achieve this, he must calculate the actual life of the second-hand assets. He should not assume that all the assets available in the property are brand new. If the asset is depreciable, you can always claim it.

Myth#2: If the assets in the property get damaged, you won’t be able to claim the balance of depreciation

Truth: Division 43 capital works mentions that if taxpayer’s capital works get damaged, the deduction will be available under Undeducted Construction Expenditure.

Myth#3: On the recovery of a depreciable asset, you can claim depreciation on it

Truth: As many investment homeowners use their property at some stage during the year, incorrect figures may surface in their tax depreciation schedule. The main motive of a tax depreciation schedule is to notify the taxpayers on what they may include in a tax return. It may be illegal or misleading if you don’t check whether or not the property was used for private purpose. You must figure out how to adjust the depreciation amount to the right sum.

Myth#4: All the expenses in obtaining a rental property will be able to get depreciated

Truth: The quantity surveyors consistently find any asset to link any and all expenses to claim a deduction without following the laws. It is wrong. You should claim a repair 100 percent only in the year in which it took place.

Myth#5: Once you have spent money on an asset or a capital work, you are eligible to claim it

Truth: As per Division 40, you should start depreciating the asset only when it is ready for use or already used. You should not start to depreciate it from the exact moment when you purchase it.

You can claim deductions only once construction gets over for capital works under Division 43.

Myth#6: If you can’t find depreciable assets in the Commissioner’s yearly ruling, you won’t be able to depreciate it

Truth: The purpose of the Commissioner’s ruling is to assess the exact lives of assets. Not to calculate what is a depreciable property. A depreciable asset is an investment property with a limited effective life. And, they may dip in value with time. Make sure that you are aware of the ATO property depreciation rules.

Myths#7: Your assets get deducted consistently at a 2.5 percent rate

Truth: The rate at which assets get deducted almost always remains at 2.5%. But, at one point of time, you can get a 4 percent rate. The 4 percent rate will be applicable on the income-producing usage of a building with regard to an industrial manner.

Conclusion:

You can seek the help of a quantity surveyor to prepare a detailed house depreciation report. The quantity surveyor will not only help in busting your myths but also maximise your depreciation deductions.

Rental Property Deductions You Need to Know

Like any house, there are regular maintenance works to be carried out, and also ad hoc repairs for sudden damages or breakages. As a landlord, you are not only responsible for having those done on time, but you also need to cough up the money for those expenses, which shaves off a bit from the rental income you receive. The effort put into maintenance work can’t be substituted, but as per the depreciation rules for rental property, you can cushion some of the financial impacts.
Rental Property Depreciation Report Offers Way Out

When you are earning rental income from a property you own, there are several expenses which can actually help you reduce your tax outlay. Those expenses can be made part of your rental property depreciation schedule and then those amounts can be deducted from your taxable income, thereby reducing your tax liabilities. Let us take a look at some of these rules which can help you at tax time.
One of the biggest expenses that can be added to your rental property depreciation report is what you spend on the upkeep and maintenance of your property. For example, the fees paid to carpenters or plumbers for repairs, or gardeners for regular maintenance, and also painters or carpet layers for occasional work. These could be either in the form of one time fees or even regular wages. In order to be able to claim a deduction on these expenses, you need to collect and submit each service providers tax identification number as well. If the amount paid to them is above a certain amount, you might also need to submit additional details in specified forms. If you consult a good firm like Deppro Victoria, they would help you with all the relevant rules and also provide the required forms that need to be filled up.
Apart from the money paid to service providers, some other expenses are also useful in reducing your tax burden. One big area of expense is the money paid for utilities or taxes, which can often be set off against taxes, depending on where the property is. Costs incurred on travel or entertainment of employees can also be listed in the tax deduction charter. For example, an employee gets together can be listed under the head of such expenses. Depending on which location you pay tax at, all employees or business associate expenses might not be deductible, and you need to find out your local rules before you file your tax returns.
The important thing to note is that tax laws have several provisions to cushion the tax impact on landlords, but may get overlooked due to lack of knowledge. If you do your research well or employ a good consultant, you can reduce your tax substantially.

How Much Will Your Depreciation Schedule Cost?

Every asset you own goes down in value over a period of time. In real terms, this is because of wear and tear due to regular usage. In accounting and financial terms, this reduction in value every year is expressed as a percentage. The concept is broadly similar across the world. But the rules, implementation, and even percentages might vary a bit according to the country and asset category. For this post, let us consider the impact of depreciation on an investment property in Australia. Let us also consider what could be the likely costs involved in calculating Australian tax depreciation on the property.

Tax Implications of Property Depreciation in Australia

The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has laid down very clear rules regarding depreciation of the value of an investment property. The annual reduction in the value of fixed as well as removable assets of a property would need to be listed in a depreciation schedule. According to this schedule, a property owner can claim deductions on the tax payable by him or her. That is why it is very important to get the schedule prepared by a qualified and experienced professional. Most good consulting companies have experienced quantity surveyors on their rolls. They take accurate measurements and make the schedule exactly as per the recommendations of the ATO. This ensures that a property owned is not taxed more or less than he should be.

Cost Implications of Preparing a Depreciation Schedule

Like everything else in life, there are several ways of going about this. One can even choose to make the schedule on one’s own. This way the depreciation for property would be calculated at zero cost. But this would run the risk of a major error. The error could turn out to be costly in the future. The second option is to employ a company which promises to charge less. You could get the job done cheaply, but there would be a catch. There would be several important aspects not covered under the charges. These would either reduce your tax savings later or cost you more in additional charges. Either way, you end up paying more than you save. So what is the best option?

How Much Will a Good Depreciation Schedule Cost?

The best way of deciding or understanding this is to first list down everything which you necessarily need. For example, do you need an exclusive report for your property? Or would you be okay with pooling the cost with other owners of the contiguous property? Should your report contain inputs from other relevant parties? Would the formal inspection report be part of your tax submission? Based on these points, it could cost as low as $175 plus GST. And it might go up to $1000 plus GST for a comprehensive report.

Conclusion:

A good Deppro depreciation report might cost you more than other cheaper alternatives, but it will help you save more in the long run. You will not only pay less tax, but you will also be protected from needless taxation that is deductible legally.

How Depreciation Works for a New Investment Property

When you buy or own an investment property, you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep. But the property also becomes part of your assets, and therefore it gets linked to your tax liability, and therefore you should consider it as part of your investment property calculator.

What is Depreciation?

As per the principles of accounting, any asset loses value with time, and every year its value decreases, this is called depreciation. We see this most commonly when the value of an automobile is calculated by the insurance company every year before calculating the annual premium to be paid for its insurance. The value of the car is reduced every year, and the new premium is calculated as a percentage of this reduced value, not on the basis of its purchase price.

Benefits of Depreciation

The ATO allows property owners to get the benefits of the depreciation that their property suffers. This depreciation on investment property ATO can actually be claimed as a tax deduction while submitting the tax returns. For this, a process has been laid down by ATO, which requires the homeowner to employ the services of qualified professionals.

The Two Types of Calculating Property Depreciation

A building can have two aspects of the calculation of its tax depreciation investment property.

  • The first mode of the calculation of depreciation is on capital works. It includes all the expenses made on the construction of the building. This depreciation can be claimed over a period of forty years. This period has been decided based on the average expected lifespan of a newly constructed investment property.
  • The second mode of property depreciation is based on the value of the assets added to the building. This would include things like upholstery, furniture, electrical, and utility gadgets, etc. The list provided by ATO also lists the expected lifespan of each item. For example, a carpet is expected to last 10 years, while a kitchen stove can be expected to last two years more.

A Brief Process for Claiming Property Depreciation

The tax declaration would need to contain a detailed schedule for you to be able to claim both the types of depreciation listed above. A certified quantity surveyor would be required. This is because actual measurements and enumeration of every small and big component would be needed. Once the list is ready, the calculations can begin.

Based on the age of each component, and the rate laid down by the ATO, the total depreciation amount is calculated. Once the amount is final, then the amount of tax deduction applicable can be calculated.

Conclusion:

Many homeowners are not aware of the depreciation rules. If these rules are properly utilized, a homeowner won’t need to pay more tax than needed. A proper tax depreciation schedule for rental property can also prevent tax deduction being claimed twice for the same component. All that is needed is to utilize the services of a good consultant. The consulting company and its team of quantity surveyors will help you claim the right tax breaks.