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.

Why the Depreciation Shake-up Gives Off-the-plan Investors an Edge at Tax Time

The year 2017 saw some changes brought about in the rules governing depreciation on investment property in Australia. The attractive option for claiming tax deductions due to the depreciation of the property value saw a cutoff date being applied – 9th May 2017. People who bought a second-hand property after date could no longer claim the deductions, as per the ATO regulations.
An Overview of Depreciation

We know that any asset undergoes wear and tear as it continues to be used. Accounting principles look at this reduction as a standard percentage of the value which gets reduced from the value of the asset. Under tax laws, this depreciation amount could be set off as a deduction from the tax payable. This would make a substantial change in the cash flows of a property owner. Based on the cost of the property, maintenance costs, reduction in value, and the reduction in tax payable, the depreciation could impact the net yield on investment property.
The New Tax Law

From May 9th onwards in the year 2017, second-hand property purchased would not attract the tax deduction. The only two categories allowable were new assets added to older homes and assets in new homes would allow admissible deductions. Those who were off this new plan could continue to claim under old rules. Also, capital works investments and fixed items added could still be claimed. But any assets that came along with the property went out of the purview of the deduction.
The Better Option between New and Second Hand

Because of this change, property owners needed to rethink their investment strategy. Back of the envelop calculations seem to present a clear picture. It was seen that a new property could work out much cheaper than investing in an older property of the same value. The detailed working of the investment property depreciation schedule ATO would provide a similar answer. What this does is to take the tax benefits out of the equation. So an investor should look at the cost-benefit analysis of the property only. Tax deduction benefits would cease to make a difference to the numbers. So how do the new tax rules affect the comparison between old and new? A property purchased in 2016 might turn out to be of similar value to a brand new property purchased in 2018. This needs investors to recalibrate their calculations carefully and in advance.
Conclusion:

In order to get the best property investment returns, an investor would need to calculate carefully. The best way is to leave it to the professionals. Consultants like Deppro could depute their qualified quantity surveyors to get the math right. They would set up the depreciation schedule according to the purchase date. The ATO has detailed lists of what can be claimed and for how much. These quantity surveyors would work out the numbers in accordance with these ATO guidelines. The amount that such a report would cost could ensure savings of higher amount if the calculations are done by a professional.

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Quantity Surveyor

Before that time of year rolls around again, when you have to file your tax return, you need to begin preparing your documents. While the income and expenditure are fairly straightforward, most people get stuck while preparing their tax depreciation schedules. That is why most people lean on professional tax consultants for this. If you own an investment property or a rental property, you may also require the help of tax depreciation surveyors who can make an assessment of your property and then prepare the submission schedule. Before you hire the services of such a surveyor, there are some important things which you should ask your quantity surveyor.

1. Do You Have Certified People Or Will You Outsource?

The survey work for property depreciation schedules can’t be done by just anyone; only certified and qualified surveyors can do it. But many tax consulting firms outsource the work of surveying to smaller firms. In such cases, you run the risk of having the survey done by someone who isn’t certified. Therefore, it is vital that you check with the firm as to whether they outsource any of their work.

2. Do You Have Insurance Coverage?

Surveying involves a whole lot of measuring at your property, for which surveyors need to often climb ladders or onto roofs. If they suffer a fall or any other kind of mishap, it would pose a major issue. That is why it is advised that you only hire firms who have insurance coverage.

3. What Are The Services You Provide?

The quantity surveyor tax depreciation only do the survey and measurements. After that their would need to prepare your returns as well. That is why you need to find out whether the firm you are employing only does surveys or can they provide end to end services.

4. Do You Have Any Questions For Me?

Every property has its own special features and would be differently treated by tax laws. Before the surveyor begins his or her work, you need to show them around and ask questions about your property. The answers to those questions and the surveyor’s own questions to you would tell you how well the survey would be done.

5. What Elements Would Be Included In The Depreciation Report?

Like we previously mentioned, a quantity survey is the start of your tax declaration and claims process. The Deppro quantity surveyors would finish their job and hand it over to their colleagues who would complete the rest of the process. You need to know from the surveyor what elements he or she will include in the report because that would determine the tax deduction amount.

6. What Categories of Properties Do You Handle?

It is important to learn what kind of properties their firm specialises in. There are firms which would be doing the surveys for commercial or industrial properties only. So, they might not have the required expertise regarding residential properties. It is preferable to work with someone who knows their stuff.

7. What Is Your Fee Structure?

Last but not the least; you need to know how the surveyor would charge their fees. There are some who charge a flat fee, while there are others who charge as per the square feet area of the property. There could be some others who charge a percentage of the total amount in the depreciation schedule.

Conclusion:

Asking the above questions will not only help you know how professional your quantity surveyor is, but it will also help you learn some extra information about your own property.   If you think there should be some more questions which are important to ask your quantity surveyor, please let us know so that we can share those with our readers and customers in our next post.

Depreciation Schedules – By Independent Property Inspectors

Depreciation refers to the decline in value of a commodity or an asset. In terms of tax depreciation schedules, the term corresponds to a tax deduction or compensation for wear and tear caused to a piece of property. Rented houses, that constitute the property of taxpayers, have a tendency of suffering damages in the course of time and thus the term depreciation comes into action.

Depending on the value of a property, the property depreciation schedule of a piece of property can amount to a significant amount of money for a property owner. Whether a property is new or old, the compensation for its renovation does amount to a certain value. Keeping this in mind, a property owner must try their best to do everything to lay a claim on the tax deduction of mending or renovation.

How Does a Tax Depreciation Schedule Benefit a Property Owner?

A tax depreciation schedule is prepared by a quantity surveyor and it consists of all the components that are eligible for depreciation. The amount of money you invest for the improvement of property comes under tax exemption. That is to say, you will not be taxed for the amount of money that you invest in enhancing its value.

An important thing to bear in mind is that it is easier said than done to meet the requirements of ATO. Hiring a qualified quantifier surveyor is a good idea to make the most of an investment property depreciation schedule ATO. Though you can consider approaching an accountant, a quantity surveyor would be able to provide you with an accurate calculation.

What Amount of Depreciation Can You Expect From Your Property?

ATO tax depreciation schedule is more complicated than what it looks like on the surface. One needs to get to the bottom of the facts in order to gain a proper understanding of the value of tax depreciation for a piece of property.

An important thing to remember is that the value of depreciation depends on the age of a property. Thus, it can vary from one property to the other. Further, your property will be eligible for recovery of compensation only if you have built it after 1985.

Tax depreciation in connection with a property does not cover the land on which it stands. Even if your property was built before 1985, you can receive depreciation on all Plant and Articles.

Final Thoughts:

It is important to conduct the depreciation of a property due to a variety of reasons. Firstly, it necessitates a property owner to carry out a thorough inspection of their property. This can help an owner identify all the existing problems in their asset.

Further, it also encourages an owner to promote the value of a property with the assurance that the costs for improvement will not come under the slab of taxation. A piece of property which undergoes maintenance and improvement from time to time remains in proper shape for long-term use.

10 Things You Need To Tick Off Before You Buy an Investment Property

When you are in a situation where you are able to put money into an investment property, it’s an extremely exciting time. But if not thought out properly, such an investment could actually push you into financial stress which could lead to mental distress as well. To help you out, here is a quick list of 10 things presented by Deppro Qld that you need to do before and during the purchase of property investment.

  1. Plan well: This is so obvious that it shouldn’t be on this list at all. But lack of planning can cause are series of losses you want to avoid. Things like the location you’re looking to buy at, how much you can afford to spend, who will manage your property, loan implications, property tax depreciation etc need to be well thought out.

 

  1. Consult experts: The first set of people we talk to are our friends and family in the process of decision making. We all like to be able to find someone who has their own investment property. But in order to ensure that your investment property actually provides good returns, you need to take the advice of experts like Deppro Qld.

 

  1. Insure yourself: Assuming that you would need a loan when buying your property, make sure that you have insurance coverage so that your family is not thrown into the deep end if something happens to you.

 

  1. Think like an investor: When it is time to choose your property, try putting yourself in the shoes of the person who would rent it from you.

 

  1. Do your research: You need to be sure about the going rates for not only the properties similar to what you are buying, but also be aware of tax implications of the fixtures and fittings you are using so that you can claim tax deductions on your property depreciation reports.

 

  1. Backup: Buying an investment property is similar to buying a car. You need to have money for the purchase, but you also need to keep a little aside for regular expenses like repairs and utility bills.

 

  1. Sharpen expenses: When you are investing in a property, remember that it is a medium to long term financial investment. Try to bring in some fiscal discipline on other fronts like credit card expenses or other ad hoc expenses.

 

  1. Keep the target in mind: You should spend on your property according to the location of the property and the likely tenants/buyers who would rent/buy from you. If the property is in a high-class neighborhood, for instance, invest in a pool, but otherwise, avoid those sorts of expenses.

 

  1. Choose the right entity: In case you are already burdened with tax commitments, consider buying in the name of a trust fund or get your spouse to buy it. That way you would be able to get the maximum benefit from the depreciation on investment property.

 

  1. Use the laws: When people are considering an investment property, they often use available funds to buy outright. Even if you have your funds, try investing that in a better instrument, and offset your interest expenses by the tax deductions available through law.

Like I said earlier it’s always a great feeling, whether you are planning to purchase your 1st, 2nd or 10th property. So, plan well and prepare yourself completely before your investment.

Depreciation and Your Investment Property

When a person buys an investment property, the intention is to generate an additional revenue stream from the rentals. But the process of looking for a good tenant and setting them up is not that easy. Then there is the issue of regular or ad hoc maintenance expenses, which eat away at the rental income. On top of that, there is the matter of paying taxes on the property and its income.

The Australian tax rules have made it possible for homeowners to get some relief from the taxes they need to pay for their property and its income. The rules regarding depreciation residential rental property provide for a reduction on tax on account of the depreciation of the value of the property.

There are two ways in which the deduction can be calculated. It could be either on the capital works or on plant and equipment. It is required that a complete tax depreciation schedule for rental property is created by the owner. This is a specialized job for which experts need to be brought in.

There are several companies which offer this kind of service. They employ qualified quantity surveyors who are trained to create this kind of report. It requires detailed measurements and counting of each and every small and big element on the property. Based on those data points, the complete rental property depreciation report is prepared. This is then used in and submitted along with the tax returns of the property owner.

There are some things to be kept in mind when claiming tax depreciation on investment properties. Here are some of them:

  1. There are cutoff dates for properties laid down. For commercial properties, the commencement date is 20th of July, 1982. For residential properties, the date is 15th of September 1987.
  2. For plant and equipment assets, the effective lives of each element would be taken into consideration. ATO has laid down a detailed list for this, and the tax returns would be filed accordingly.
  3. The individual effective life would also depend on the type of property where the plant and equipment asset has been used.
  4. House owners need to keep in mind that the depreciation rules would only apply if the property is not being occupied by the owners. Therefore, it has to be a rental or investment property for the depreciation rules to be allowable.
  5. The above rule can be relaxed if the property is purchased and owned by a trust or a company instead of an individual. In such cases, the owner (individual) can move in as a tenant of the trust and claim depreciation.

There are several good companies who can help you create the depreciation report for your property in line with the current regulations. They have teams of qualified technical specialists who would help prepare the depreciation reports and file the tax returns accurately.

Should I Buy an Investment Property with a Swimming Pool?

When you are looking to invest money into a property where you do not plan to live but rather rent out, you need to strike that sweet spot where minimal investment and maximum returns meet. Your property investment returns must be greater than the upfront costs and the recurring costs put together.

How Wise is it to have a Pool on your Investment Property?

Let us take an example of a swimming pool in the backyard of your house. Who doesn’t like to imagine a lazy sunny morning spent lounging by the poolside? Is there any greater joy than a swim in crystal clear blue water? A pool adds a lot of value to a house, for the owner as well as the resident. But we need to remember that a pool comes with several costs.

The Cost of a Swimming Pool

The cost of building a pool might be a one-time investment, but the maintenance of a pool is quite costly, and those costs are repetitive. If you have a traditional swimming pool, then cleaning of leaves and other debris would need to be done manually. But for more modern self-cleaning pools, the costs become higher. The property report for a house with a pool would have a large chunk of the expenses earmarked for the pool.

What Australian Tax Depreciation Rules Say?

Having read so far, you might be tempted to think that a pool on your property might not be such a great idea after all. But there is another important factor to consider – the Australian tax depreciation rules. As per these rules, several elements of the cost of building and maintaining a swimming pool can be set off against depreciation, and tax deductions can be claimed on them.

This is how it works. When a house is constructed, the money spent on it could be broadly divided into two categories. The first is capital works, and the other is plant and equipment. Capital works would include the fixed part of a building, like the walls, floor, and wiring etc. Plant and equipment would include removable parts of the property like smoke detectors, upholstery, electrical appliances etc. A complete list of both these types of depreciation expenses needs to be made by a certified agency like Deppro using an investment property calculator. This list is then submitted along with the tax returns and deductions are availed on tax on the basis of the depreciation calculated. Many elements of the cost of a swimming pool construction can also be included in this list and deductions claimed.

Final Thoughts:

On the whole, you need to consider the location of your property, the cost of the pool, and the amount you can claim later as tax. After considering these factors, you can decide wisely whether you should buy an investment property with a pool or not.

What You Need to Know About the Legislation Changes to Rental Property Tax Depreciation Claims

It’s always quite confusing to adapt to new changes. Similar to the altered legislation to the rental home returns which were observed in 2017. It has been tracked that numerous investors and rental property owners have issues regarding the claims available for them.
To everyone’s relief, what is worth appreciation is that the items under the Capital Works such as the swimming pools, toilets, windows, foundations, walls, and ceilings can be claimed for deductions just like before. There are no changes made to that category.
The alteration has been in Division 40 which includes the subparts of Plant and Equipment category including the electronic appliances, carpets, alarms etc. These are the assets which are extra, in other words, which aren’t a part of the built of the property.
Which Properties Got Affected by The Change?
Well, when summarized, it can be said that the deductions for the above-mentioned category that is the Plant and Equipment is not applicable on the condition that the property was made second hand after 7:30 pm on May 9, 2017. All the investors who have invested in the second-hand property before the mentioned time and date can claim returns on depreciation residential rental property as they used to before.
Also, if a new Plant and Equipment asset is bought after the specified date, it is applicable for claims until the asset’s life remains effective. Lastly, another notable fact is that the investors residing in their building before July 1, 2017, do not have to think about the changes made in the legislation as they are exempted from it.
How to Claim the Right Returns Efficiently?
Sometimes technical terms become quite difficult to understand and analyze and hence it is better to seek professional help rather than trying to be the jack of all trades and master of none. Hence, creating a tax depreciation schedule for a rental property can be extremely easy if done by an experienced, professional quantity surveyor. A person with that profession knows exactly what is to be done for your property and will help you extract maximum benefits by giving you a clear-cut view of your costs, expenditures, and returns.
There are a number of companies providing professional help to people in need of a good tax depreciation schedule and hence you can look out for one such service provider.
The main advantage of choosing this way is that they have immense knowledge about the concerned topic and they are aware of such minor details which can fill up your pockets and make you feel rich by just paying a humble fee for the service.
What after June 30, 2017?
For your information, even if it is past June 30, 2017, you are eligible to calculate depreciation on rental property and submit a tax schedule with your tax returns for 2017-2018. Hence, it’s a win-win situation for many of the investors.
Deriving complete information of such legislative changes isn’t a cup of tea and might leave you confused and unsure of your action despite the hard efforts. Thus, a little bit of assistance and help is never harmful.