How is Depreciation Applied Following Natural Disasters?

Irrespective of the country you are in, you would often hear of the havoc that natural disasters can cause. Whether it’s the bushfires in NSW or Queensland, or the Victorian floods this year, natural disasters happen with frightening regularity. While the loss of human life in such disasters is an irreparable loss, there are other ways that the victims suffer. For example, the destruction and damage of property causes losses of millions of dollars every year, for homes, offices, and commercial property. The owners of these properties find themselves in a very difficult situation. Some need to be rebuilt from scratch. Others are slightly luckier, and they can get by with replacing most of their assets.

This rebuilding and renovating after a natural disaster does often result in an almost new structure. As far as the property valuation goes, it impacts the tax payable as well. This is because the property attracts different depreciation rules after repairs following a natural disaster. Because of the different depreciation amounts and percentages, the tax-deductible due to depreciation also changes. After suffering such loss of property due to a natural disaster, the least you can do is to ensure that you don’t pay more tax than you ought to.

A Few Definitions

Before you get into the calculation of depreciation for tax purposes, it’s best to understand a few key terms that would often be used. When you need to undertake minor work in order to return your house to its earlier condition, you are said to be undertaking repairs. Sometimes, some fittings or fixtures of your house are spoilt, broken, or damaged after the natural disaster strikes. In that case, they would need to be replaced by new assets. When you undertake some works to improve the look, utility, or specifications/dimensions of some assets without replacing them, you are said to have improved or upgraded it. If you are working on your tax-related depreciation calculations yourself, it is imperative that you know and understand these terms – even if you are employing the services of a quantity surveyor, you should still be aware.

How to Calculate Depreciation?

If you wish to make an accurate property depreciation report, you need to understand the different calculations yourself. First, if it is simple repairs, then you need to immediately deduct those expenses if you do not have insurance coverage. If you have insurance, you need to also declare the insurance income you received. If your work is a little more detailed and you need to replace things, then you must first find out the residual value of that replaced asset – this is only if you do not have insurance. If you do, then before claiming depreciation on property, you must adjust the values of Individual Depreciation Assets and Capital Allowance. The flow of calculation would be similar when you are improving or upgrading your assets.

Conclusion:

There is no denying the fact that if your property is hit by a natural disaster, there is little you can do, except wait till it passes. But later, you can always make an accurate assessment of your depreciation to minimise your tax commitment.

4 Tax Deductions Everyone Should Know While Investing in Property

Many people lack awareness about one of the most profitable tax deductions investors use to make a purchase economical. Interest has emerged as one of the major expenses of buying an investment property. And, a large number of people are not aware that mortgage interest payments on an investment property is tax-deductible. For the benefit of investors, interest has emerged as a cost that is deductible from rental income; it can help in minimising your tax obligations. If you are planning to invest, it is ideal to gain some knowledge of property investment. You should seek the services of experts for claiming depreciation on investment property.

Below are some of the main tax deductions that you should be aware of:

1. Maintenance and repair cost:

In order to maintain your investment property, you may have to indulge in some maintenance and repair costs. There are various types of repairs and maintenance such as repairing a leaking roof or fixing a damaged tap; these costs are all tax-deductible. Your property agent’s charges and insurance will also be deductible. You can claim the costs of running your home office like electricity, internet or rent to the level you use it for investment. Your advisor’s fees, accountancy fees, and property investing subscriptions also fall in the category of tax-deductible items.

2. Loan interest:

It is noteworthy that annual interest paid on investment loans will be tax-deductible. You should asses your property investment returns with the utmost care. An experienced investor knows that interest on borrowed money for investment property is deductible. It does not matter whether the money is for stamp duty or legal fees. You only have to prove that the funds are related to the investment purchase. And, it holds true whether you borrowed the funds from a bank or from different property’s equity.

3. Depreciations:

Many people frequently ignore depreciation deductions in old properties. They are under the notion that old properties lack depreciation value. However, this is not true. If you make any renovations or improvements to an older property since its construction, it can also depreciate. As your accountant won’t be able to prepare a property tax depreciation schedule, you can hire a quantity surveyor.  You should use the services of an expert quantity surveyor as he can spot all depreciation available on the property.

4. Travel:

At times some traveling undertaken for the purchase, maintenance or inspection of your investment will be eligible for a claim. You can claim by cents per kilometre for traveling undertaken to these experts or even to your own property. If you failed to claim them in the past, you will be allowed to put an earlier date. In case some confusion prevails, you can speak to an expert tax accountant.

Conclusion:

It will turn out to be profitable for you to improve your awareness of common tax deductions. Several studies claim that younger people tend to remain unaware of the various tax deductions. Few people are aware that interest repayments are eligible for tax deductions. Some experts say that the higher prices of houses may have caused people to get less occupied in research investing. However, you should not forget to claim your tax depreciation and in case you find the calculations tricky, you may seek experts’ services.

How Much of Your Investment Property Costs Can Be Claimed on Tax?

Owning a property, while a good investment, can also be heavy on the taxes. However, only a few people know that much of it can be claimed as tax-deductible or as depreciated items. But how much and what exactly can be claimed on tax? Let’s take a better look.

Knowing the Typical Tax Deductions

To begin with, you must keep receipts of all your expenses on your property investment. Next, you should identify all the things that can be claimed for tax deductions. For land owners in Australia, there are a significant number of costs that fall under this:

  • Loan interest and fees for any ongoing loan. Both of these are usually included in the loan statement and can be directly used for deductions.
  • Land tax and council rates are tax-deductible. Body corporate fees for villas, apartments and townhouses alike are also usually tax-deductible.
  • Insurance for both the building and the landlord is tax-deductible.
  • Bookkeeping and account fees are also tax-deductible.
  • Miscellaneous costs like traveling costs to property, stationery items, phone cost, advertising for tenants, ongoing property management fees and re-letting costs are also usually tax-deductible.

Careful with the repairs

Repairs are a tricky field when it comes to tax deductions. The nature and extent of repairs usually decide whether it is tax-deductible, but it is murky waters. Ongoing maintenance operations like gardening and pest control are generally included under tax deductions. Repair of objects within the property, like a faulty water heater, might be claimed under tax deductions (though you would need to check the specifics beforehand).

When you replace an item within your property altogether, legally it no longer remains a ‘repair’ and becomes instead an ‘improvement’. Any such improvements on the property cannot be claimed for tax deductions. However, such replacements are eligible for depreciation for property.

Using depreciation for deductions

For property owners, depreciation is often the best way to get tax deductions. As mentioned before, home improvement cannot be directly deducted from tax but is eligible for depreciation. Landlords usually opt for depreciation on investment property due to the sheer range it covers, almost everything within the property – garage, kitchen floor, windows, etc. – is eligible for it. Even items used for interior decoration like carpets and curtains can be included for depreciation.

However, the range can also often get confusing. It is easy to forget what items could be applied for depreciation and what couldn’t. There are professionals like quantity surveyors that can thoroughly examine everything on your property and prepare a depreciation schedule for investment pro.

Having a professional Deppro contact number in your pocket might come in handy! For instance, all of the legal costs involved in buying a property are not eligible for tax deductions. Instead of this, costs like stamp duty and legal fees can be used to reduce your capital gains tax when you sell the property in the future.

Conclusion:

Property investments can be a costly affair, thanks to the huge taxes they incur. But if you are smart enough, you can legally save a lot of money on tax claims.

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.

Can Depreciation on My Rental Property Be Back-Claimed?

Several property investors are not fully aware of the tax benefits they can claim from their rental property. As per ATO rules, a certified quantity surveyor can help such investors reduce their tax burden. This is on account of the depreciation on their property every year. A quantity surveyor can help them make a detailed tax depreciation schedule for rental property. This would then help reduce their taxable income. As a result, the annual tax also gets reduced. Were you aware of this? If so, then you must be claiming the due depreciation tax benefit every year. But things not stopped here. Let’s say you missed claiming the depreciation on your rental property in some previous year. You might have given up that tax deduction as lost forever. But that is not correct. You can also back-claim your depreciation benefits on rental property. Read all about it here.

How Many Years Are Back-Claims Permitted?

This would have been the first question in your mind by now. The ATO has different sets of rules for different categories of taxpayers. If you are an individual taxpayer or the owner of a small business, then you can back-claim missed returns of the last two years. For other categories of taxpayers, this period is four years. For all these periods, the date of calculation is important. ATO guidelines state that the date of notice for tax assessment is the date from when the period is considered. In case you haven’t got any notice, then the date you filed your incomplete return is considered. Also, for the same period, you can submit more than one request for amendment.

The Process for Back-Claim of Previous Years

The process begins with a simple request for amendment made to the ATO, which is free of cost. After that, you need to wait for the ATO to send you the notice for submitting the amended return. While you wait, you should get your amended rental property depreciation report readied. The ATO website does provide all details for you to do it. But you should get this done by a certified quantity surveyor or at least consult your tax accountant. That way the chances of errors are minimised.

A Review of the Entire Process

Now that you know that a couple of years of delay can be corrected, you need to understand the complete picture. ATO rules allow you to claim tax relief on account of depreciation. Depreciation is the annual reduction that your rental property suffers. This is a normal accounting principle. You can claim depreciation for both fixed assets and other fixtures and fittings.

Conclusion:

You may have submitted incomplete rental home returns in previous years. It could be simply because you didn’t know about it or you might have missed it. All it means is that you paid a slightly higher tax that year. But that mistake can be easily corrected. You can back-claim for two to four years, depending on what type of taxpayer you are. Get in touch to learn more and speak to one of our professional team members for more insight.

The Magic of Depreciation for Investors

Novice investors have a simplistic view of making legitimate money from their investments. They look towards buying at lower prices and selling at higher prices. The difference between a buying and selling price is the profit, as any school mathematics textbook will tell you. This is the simplest way of making money from investments, for sure. But there is another very interesting concept called depreciation. If these investment property depreciation rules are understood and used wisely, it can help investors shield themselves from investment losses in bad deals. Alternatively, it can also help them improve their profits on a good investment.

What is depreciation?

The notion of depreciation is based on a simple concept which we all know. The value of anything reduces due to wear and tear as we keep using it. This is called depreciation and it is used for cars, machines, and even for houses. As property depreciation consultants will tell you, this concept can be used to your advantage if you are an investor.

What Conditions Must You Comply With?

Before you plan on claiming depreciation on an investment property, you need to familiarise yourself with some dos and don’ts. The first thing to remember for claiming property depreciation is that you must be the clear titleholder or in other words, the owner. This condition holds even if there is a bank mortgage on the property. This property must be income-generating for you or your business. There is another interesting element of the depreciation rules in force. The calculation of depreciation starts as soon as your property becomes available for rent. The date of the first advertisement for the rental of a tax depreciation investment property is important here. It is usually considered the start date for depreciation calculation. This is true even if the tenant is not fount immediately.

The Calculation of Depreciation

The first thing to know while calculating depreciation for any asset is the legal period for such calculation. Broadly, this corresponds to the estimated useful life of the asset. As per ATO guidelines, this period for a residential property is 27.5 years. Likewise, for a commercial property, it is 39 years. Appliances already fixed or newly installed in the property have a depreciation period ranging from five to seven years. There are several methods used for the calculation of depreciation. The most commonly used one is the Straight Line Method. The basis for this method lies in two assumptions. Firstly, that the asset has a fixed useful life, which we discussed above. The second assumption is that the reduction in the value of the asset takes place at the same rate over this period. What this means that the depreciation amount for each year would be the same. There are many other methods used, and they are chosen on the basis of specific characteristics of the asset getting depreciated.

Conclusion:

Depreciation is an unavoidable occurrence for any asset you own, including property. But if you understand the depreciation rules for rental property, you can easily sweeten the deal by claiming your tax deductions for the depreciation your property suffers every year.

 

 

Ways to Cut Your Tax Bills through Depreciation

You must know that the more you use an item, the lower it becomes in value. You have probably realised, that when you try to sell your used car after one year, you would get a lower value even if it was in very good condition. This universal accounting is called depreciation. In case you own a rental property in Australia, this rule also applies to your property. But there is a flip side to this dark cloud. You can claim tax deductions on the annual depreciation on your property. In case you are not completely aware of the implications of this, read on. Like most tax rules, the rules pertaining to depreciation also have lots of fine print. It is, therefore, recommended that you get the help of professionals. You must hire the services of a tax accountant along with trained Deppro quantity surveyors. Let us discuss a few useful things you can keep in mind.

Assets on Which Depreciation is Permitted

For a rental property that you own, there are two ways of claiming depreciation. The first is on the fixed parts of the property, like the building itself. It would also include all permanent assets built into the house. The second category is referred to as plant and equipment. This includes all additional fittings and fixtures you have installed in your house. Some examples are: upholstery, furniture, electrical appliances, and even ventilation systems.

Here are three easy tips which can help you maximise the tax gains on depreciation:

Tip#1: Add on as Many Fixtures as Possible

Let us say you build an indoor swimming pool. While it would cost you money to build and then maintain, it has a tax benefit as well. This is because it gets added to the plant and machinery segment of your tax depreciation report. The more things you add, the greater are your benefits in two ways. First, these fixtures will provide a better quality of life. Second, you will be able to claim higher tax benefits.

Tip#2: Keep an Eye on Asset Value

When we mentioned plant and machinery above, it had nuances. The ATO recommends different depreciation rates for a tax return Australia. Often, the different slabs are based on the cost of the asset. So a gadget that costs less than $500 might attract depreciation at a different rate compared to the same gadget priced higher than $500. Do consult your tax accountant before you purchase your house fittings.

Tip#3: Benefit from Residual Value Write Off

Property owners often plan on renovating older properties they own. If you are also making similar plans, make sure you have a chat with your tax consultant. The reason we say this, is that it is very likely that you might be removing some old fittings. The written-off value of those fittings could be claimed the same year under depreciation.

Conclusion:

Most property owners have now realised the many benefits of claiming tax deductions due to property depreciation. But simply knowing the broad guidelines might not be enough. You should be on the lookout for legitimate ways to derive the maximum benefit.

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.

What Are the Different Ways to Calculate Depreciation?

For a company that owns assets, the annual asset reduction is reflected in its financial statements like the balance sheets and the tax depreciation reports. There are different ways in which the value of depreciation is calculated. This depends on the country or region, of course and the calculation method could depend on the type of a particular asset. Let us understand this with the example of strata corporations with five or more strata lots. They need to obtain a specific strata property act depreciation report.

Let us look at three different ways to calculate depreciation.

1. Straight-Line Depreciation:

This is a single dimension calculation. The basis of the calculation is the estimate of how long the life of a particular asset. The straight-line depreciation method assumes an estimated value of the asset after the passage of those many years. After that, it is a simple matter of subtracting the final value from the original value to get the amount of depreciation.

2. Sum-of-the-Years’ Digits Depreciation:

In this method, the useful life of an asset is calculated/estimated. The numbers of each of these years are totalled. So, if an asset has a 7 year estimated span, then the sum would be 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 28. So the rate of depreciation in the first year would be 7 / 28 = 25%. The second year’s depreciation would be 6 / 28 = 21%, and so on, till it depreciates by less than 4% in its last year.

3. Declining Balance Depreciation:

There is a difference in the ways in which the above two ways affect the depreciation amounts listed on an ATO tax depreciation schedule. The first one shows a uniform rate of depreciation throughout the expected life. The second one assumes a higher rate of depreciation in the initial years. This reduces as the years go by.

The declining balance depreciation method also takes in much higher depreciation in the initial years. The depreciation on any asset is usually written off the owner’s tax liability. That is why this method tries to write off the depreciation costs faster. The logic behind this is that most assets are more useful in their initial years.

Conclusion:

The interesting thing is that there are several more methods of calculating depreciation. The second even more interesting thing is that the rates and depreciation calculated by each of these methods would be different. That is why the services of an experienced and capable company like Deppro Victoria should be used. They have experts who would understand your business and your accounting styles. Accordingly, they would suggest the best way of calculating depreciation and claiming tax breaks.

 

Why You Need a Depreciation Schedule for Your Investment Property

Savvy investors, nowadays, indulge in property investment with the prospect of re-selling the property at higher prices. While this investment decision is highly fruitful, a little know-how of the field can help in making the most of the opportunity.

Depreciation on property is one such aspect that has to be taken into consideration. With the know-how of property depreciation, information on tax depreciation schedules is also vital.

What is a Tax Depreciation Schedule?

Depreciation on a property comes from the fact that as a property ages, its components may suffer from wear and tear. The test of time inflicted upon the property leads to a decline in value. Tax Office provides claim to investors against this depreciation.

In order to claim depreciation from the Tax Office, investors require preparation of investment property depreciation schedule also known as a tax depreciation schedule. The preparation of the schedule should be done by a qualified surveyor, who will make a list of all the depreciable items in the property.

The inclusions in the depreciation schedule will be: depreciation on building allowance; depreciation on equipment; on plant; and, precise calculation of each depreciable item. Depreciation on investment property ATO approval is a must. For which you need professional help to draft it for you.

Preparing a Depreciation Schedule

Property depreciation schedule 80 reflects the numerous benefits of having your property’s depreciation schedule developed, which are as follows:

  1. Creation of tax depreciation schedules on a rental property allows the owner of the property to claim renovations done by the previous owner. The owner can also add any new improvement made on the house into the existing schedule.
  2. Beside the approval of claim, the preparation of schedules allows the owner to weigh their subsequent property investments. Investment property calculator can help them to find out the most lucrative properties in terms of depreciation benefits.
  3. Preparation of Property depreciation schedule 80 allows the owner to claim depreciation on building allowance. This means that the owner will get tax benefits upon the building’s structure like the brickwork, roof and timber work.
  4. Depreciation on plant and equipment can become highly lucrative with the aid of depreciation schedules. This is because it covers those items that can be detached from the investment property. Such items cover as high as 35% of the complete cost of a residential building
  5. The benefits of tax depreciation schedules also include improvement of cash flow. This is owing to the reduction of taxable income. Wealth creation gets much easier when the money has been freed up. These further properties can of course be weighed using Investment property calculator.

Wrapping-Up:

It’s the owner’s responsibility to both deduct the depreciating value upon their property as well to claim it. It is not the ATO’s job to remind them. Depreciation on investment property ATO can be a game-changer for an owner’s investment opportunities. Also, property owners should not forget to use the aid of a qualified quantity surveyor for creation of the schedule on their investment property like Deppro QLD.