All You Need to Know About Taxes on Rental Income

When you have secured ownership of an investment property, you collect rent from your tenants. It is worth noting that you must declare that portion of rental income on your taxes. You have the scope of deducting all the expenses that you incurred while maintaining your rental property. You must carefully check the Australian tax depreciation rules. Some of the common expenses that you may claim include maintenance costs, depreciation, and borrowing expenses. You will not be able to claim deductions for those things that your tenant/s paid for. Tenants pay for utility bills or improvement bills among other things.

If you have become a landlord recently and you are facing some complications, here is how you may avoid common tax mistakes:

You need to make sure that your property is available for rent:

You need to make sure that your property is actually available for rent to claim a tax deduction. Along with this, you must showcase a clear will to rent your investment property. You may advertise the property so that someone can rent for it. You should read in detail about investment property depreciation rules to remove all doubts. It will be ideal on your part to avoid unrealistic rental conditions.

Get initial repairs and capital improvements correct:

You will be able to claim for ongoing repairs that are linked to wear or tear or some other damages. The damages must occur due to renting out the property and you will be able to claim them in full. You can claim them in the similar year you faced those expenses. If you get the hot water system or a part of a broken roof repaired, these can be deducted right away. Initial repairs for damages that took place when the property was bought like replacing damaged light fitting can’t be deducted immediately.

Claiming borrowing costs:

If your borrowing costs happen to be more than $100, the deduction will get spread over five years. And, if borrowing costs are below $100 or just $100, you may claim the entire figure in the similar year you faced those expenses. Leading professionals fees, costs incurred in preparing will help you understand how depreciation for property needs to be calculated. Borrowing costs may include loan establishment fees, costs incurred in preparing and filling mortgage documents, and title search charges.

Claiming purchase expenses:

You will not be able to claim any deductions for the expenses you incurred on purchasing your property. These may include the conveyance cost and stamp duty charges. When you sell your property, these expenses will be used while working out whether you need to pay capital gains tax.

Claiming interest on a loan:

You may claim an interest in the form of a deduction if you take a loan for your rental property. If you use a part of that loan money for personal use, you will not be able to claim interest on that portion. You will only claim that part of the interest that is linked to the rental property.

Conclusion:

Therefore, we can conclude here that the above points will eliminate all your doubts pertaining to rental income. You may talk to expert Quantity Surveyors to understand depreciation rules for rental property. When a rental property is rented out to family or dear ones at below market price, you must know what to do in such a scenario. Many property owners face difficulty in this situation. It is worth noting that you may claim a deduction for that tenure up to the rental income you received. You must have proper evidence of your income and expenses so that you can claim for things you are entitled to.

How Depreciating or Writing Off Older Equipment and Building Assets Works?

A major mistake that many investment property owners often make, is that they presume a few things about their property. One of those presumptions is they think their property was built years ago, so there will be no depreciation tax benefit. As per law, the capital works component of the property is eligible for the claim on properties where construction began post-September 15, 1987. Two vital elements come under consideration while calculating depreciation that may include capital works deduction and plant and equipment.

Given below are some crucial aspects that you should not overlook when it comes to depreciation:

1) Capital Works Deduction:

This refers to the structure of the building or any fixed items. It will include some items that will be categorised as capital works while computing depreciation deductions. These items are kitchen cabinets, windows, doors, walls, bathtubs, external decking, etc. And, you may calculate depreciation for structural items at a 2.5 percent rate per year for 40 years. It may start from the construction start date and as long as it started after September 15, 1987. Meanwhile, properties built before 1987 often underwent a few renovations. Older property owners will discover that they are still eligible for capital works deduction for renovation concluded within the enacted date. It does not matter if they were concluded by a previous property owner. Therefore, it is necessary to calculate rental home returns.

2) Plant and Equipment Assets:

These may include those items that can be removed in a convenient manner from the property. It may include smoke alarms, carpet, door closers, ovens, AC, light fittings, shower curtains, etc. A whopping 1500 items have been recognised as depreciable plant and equipment by ATO. The age of these items remains insignificant while calculating depreciation deductions available for a property owner. Every item has been allocated an individual effective life and rate of depreciation through which deductions shall be calculated. It is vital to obtain a tax depreciation schedule for rental property.

3) Old vs New Depreciation:

Let us comprehend the difference that a depreciation claim may make for owners of new, old and just built investment properties. Let’s suppose all properties bought at $4,60,000. The depreciation for properties of similar price and age may differ. It will depend on the size of the property, the number of plant and equipment assets in the property. Further deductions shall be applicable if there is some additional works or renovations carried out. The owner of a just constructed unit or home will get higher deductions than the owner of the old residential unit built after 1980. In the first financial year, the owner of the old residential house is eligible to claim $3,298 in depreciation. Meanwhile, the owner of the old residential unit may claim $3,846. After 5 years period, the owners of these properties shall get $12,357 and $13,576. These have emerged as substantial deductions that the owner of an old property must not overlook.

Conclusion:

The above points will help in depreciating older equipment or building assets. You must remember that if you destroy your current kitchen for upgrading to a new one, you may claim the existing items. You can seek the help of a quantity surveyor who may help you carry it out with a property depreciation schedule. For instance, rather than depreciating the old kitchen estimated at $4000 in the next 4 years, you are eligible to claim $4000 right away. They can also help you obtain the latest depreciation schedule for a new kitchen that can be claimed for 40 years.

Own a Rental Property? Know Your Tax Deductions

Rental properties are a very lucrative investment opportunity for those involved in real estate. Apart from creating a property as an investment, it also turns the investment as a regular source of capital from tenants. However, rental properties also come with some significant taxes. But if you are smart enough, there are ways to save on the taxes. Let’s take a look at how you can claim tax refunds on your rental property.

Capital Gains and Tax

Before we delve into claims about tax deductions, we must understand an important concept: Capital Gains Tax. A capital gain is when the selling price of a property is more than its cost base. A capital loss is the reverse; the selling price is less than the cost base. The CGT is applicable when you derive capital gains from selling your property.

To minimize your CGT, the straight route is showing the capital gains as low as possible. There are perfectly legal ways to do so, primarily by including all possible expenses into the base cost of the property. You can also apply for capital losses from previous years if any. Creating the investment property depreciation schedule and capital works schedule is another way.

Tax Deductions You Can Claim

There are a variety of expenses you can claim for tax deductions, like:

  • Advertising expenditure for finding tenants
  • Any interest incurred over property investment loan
  • Insurance of the property
  • Travel expenses incurred while traveling to inspect your property (subject to scrutiny)
  • Water costs
  • Council costs, if any
  • Management fees of your real estate, if you hired professional help for the same
  • Deprecation on residential rental property assets like air conditioners

While it seems straightforward, being able to claim these tax deductions come with certain requirements. For starters, you must maintain all physical bills and/or bank statements for transactions covered above. Two things must also be maintained accurately: depreciation schedule and capital works schedule.

The depreciation schedule lists all the properties/assets you own on the rental property. It also mentions how much you can annually claim in depreciation tax deduction on rental property. The capital works schedule consists of the building and construction costs of the rental property. It is important to maintain all the bills while you were building the property. In case the bills are amiss, one can ask an architect or builder to assess the costs involved in the construction of the property.

Tax Deductions You Can’t Claim

There are also certain costs that you can’t claim for tax deductions:

  • Any cost incurred while you used the rental property for your personal use
  • All the utility bills paid by the tenants, like electricity, etc.
  • The inherent costs associated with buying and selling of properties are already included within taxes and thus cannot be claimed for tax deductions
  • Sometimes, owners borrow money against the property, like selling its equity or mortgaging it. The costs involved in such loans cannot be tax deducted.

Note: While we mentioned that inherent fees involved in buying/selling of properties are not eligible for tax deductions, many other charges during the buying/selling can be eligible for the same. Thus, it is advisable to maintain all bills of the process.

Final Words:

Rental properties are a great investment opportunity. By claiming the tax deductions in the right way, you can increase your profits from your property even further.

What You Need to Know About Short Term Leasing Your Investment Property

Short-term leasing has taken the property industry by storm in Australia. The industry witnessed a whopping growth of 47 percent. According to reports, 30,000 homes have been leased in the year 2018 alone on a short-term basis. As the short term rental market is becoming competitive, house owners can still capitalize on it. There are many benefits of leasing out a property on a short term basis. Everybody aims to generate some yield on investment property. If you plan to rent your property in such a way, you must remain ahead by focusing on quality. This will help you beat the competition prevailing in this segment.

Given below are some of the things that you must know about leasing your property for short term:

Boosts Rental Yields:

Renting your property on a short term basis can enhance your rental yields. If you want to boost your rental yields, the property must meet the requirement of location. All the locations cannot be the same. There are experts who will provide you with useful advice about your property and its location. Properties located at a famous location must be high in demand. Such properties can generate a handsome profit. So if you are planning to invest in a property, check its location on a priority basis and then make the investment. You must also find out the entire tax depreciation cost.

Depreciation on Short Term Rentals:

Short term rentals can lead to high deductions as you also provide the furniture. The original structure of the property will be eligible for division 43 deductions only if it was constructed after September 1987. The plant and equipment items in the property will be of great significance and not just the main assets like furniture it will also include other items in the property like blinds, AC, carpets, etc. However, furniture items do give you a strong edge as these items receive high rates of depreciation. Things have undergone a change in May 2017. If you purchased an investment property after May 2017, you will be eligible to claim for plant and equipment deductions. For this, you must purchase the property as brand new. You can seek the plant and equipment deductions for the furniture if you purchased the established property after the year 2017, May. You must generate the property depreciation reports in an effective manner.

Ways to Claim Plant and Equipment Deductions on Furniture if You Bought After May 2017?

All you have to do is just purchase the pieces of furniture in brand new condition and, get them installed at your income-generating property. As long as you fulfil this condition, you can claim plant and equipment deductions on the furniture.

Conclusion:

It is time to tap the vast potential of the short term rental market. Do not deprive yourself from the immense benefits that you may receive from leasing your property on a short term basis. And, when you install new furniture in the property, you can avail some very worthwhile deductions by renting it out. Calculate the property tax depreciation and start the planning of renting your investment property.

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.

Best Reasons to Invest in Commercial Property

Most people dream of owning their own home. Those who can cross that first hurdle, often go on to their second or third home. Obviously, they do not plan to stay in all of them by turns. The subsequent purchases are for investment purposes only. They give the owner the option of renting or selling it outright for a profit. Additionally, whether you rent or sell, it also gives an option of claiming depreciation on property. There is another option that is popular with investors – commercial property. In this post, we are going to try to help you understand the implications of commercial property investment.

Tax Benefits

The first thing any investor looks at is whether a particular investment brings any relief from tax. A commercial investment property offers tax deductions in two ways. The first is on the capital works expenses made on immovable parts of the property. The second is the depreciation due to plant and equipment. This refers to additional fixtures and fittings that you have spent money on. If you can prepare an accurate and detailed depreciation schedule with the help of a professional, you can indeed save a lot of tax.

Robust Yields

The primary reason for any investment is to sell at a price higher than the purchase price. The property tax depreciation mentioned above is only a bonus. But it is not the most important benefit of investing in a commercial property. The most important benefit is the better returns it usually provides on resale. This is especially when you compare with the average returns of investing on a residential property. This is the primary reason why discerning real estate investors always prefer to deal in commercial properties.

Low Initial Investment

We know that the rental income from a commercial property would be much higher than a residential property. In spite of this, the initial cost of a commercial property is much less. This allows you to begin investing without a very large corpus.

Conclusion:

The purpose of this Deppro review is not to compare the relative merits of investing in a commercial property vs. residential property. We only seek to highlight some of the best reasons to invest in commercial property because many of them are less known to investors. If you are an investor, then you must surely keep commercial properties as part of your portfolio.

How to Claim Depreciation on Previous Owners’ Renovations

Many investors know that they are eligible to claim depreciation of building works they have carried out to a property. However, some don’t know that they can also claim depreciation of renovations done by former owners of the property. The claimable depreciation will depend on the property purchase date and extent of renovation took place. To claim depreciation, you need to consider a few factors like ATO depreciation rates, 2017 budget, etc. The 2017 budget is important as your claims depend on whether you purchased the property before or after the budget.

What if You Have Purchased a Property Before 2017 Budget?

Things won’t be complicated if you happened to purchase the property before the 2017 crucial budget. In such a scenario, you are eligible to make claims under Division 43 and Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act. Division 43 covers the capital works undertaken by the former owner to the concerned property. It may also include all the renovation works such as a bathroom, kitchen restoration, building extensions, etc. It will also include any work carried out for building structure improvement. In other words, you can claim renovation work on the roof or walls done by the previous owner. You can also consult property depreciation consultants to make the process easier.

What if You Have Purchased a Property After 2017 Budget?

In this scenario, you are likely to face some complications. You will have to check the amount of renovation that took place or whether the previous owner did any renovation. Budget 2017 introduced the term “new residential premises”. You will get more details of the new residential premises in Goods and Services Tax or GST Act.

Importance of GST

You will come across the term “new residential premises” under section 40 to 75 of the GST Act. It means that the premises which have not been sold or rented out as a residential property prior to your purchase won’t cause any problems as the term covers new properties.

The Act further elaborates such premises as those that underwent “substantial renovation”. Such renovations mean removal or replacement of the entire building. And, installation of a new bathroom or kitchen won’t get inclusion under the substantial renovation.

How It Will Impact You?

If your investment property does not come into the category of substantial renovations, you can’t claim Division 40 depreciation. A new tool on its own is not sufficient to form a substantial renovation.

If the building underwent sufficient renovation to fall in the category of “new residential premises”, you can claim for Division 43 and Divison 40 work. In such a situation, a quantity surveyor will check the amount of renovation work done on the building. They will create a timeline of the building and create a house depreciation report. The report will cover the renovation work, cost, and extent of the renovation. You can use the report to check if your building comes in the category of “new residential premises” or not.

Conclusion:

It’s important for you to find out the exact date of your property construction. This will help you find out what earlier renovations you can claim depreciation. You can also seek the help of a quantity surveyor to develop a detailed report of property depreciation tax deduction

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.

Discover the Benefits of Claiming Depreciation for a Commercial Property

A person buys additional properties with the plan to monetize the assets. This is usually done by renting these out. But many people are not aware that their property can provide monetary benefits outside the rental income too. These benefits are in the form of possible deductions in tax. This blog post will discuss the different aspects of depreciation tax benefit.

How Depreciation Affects Tax?

We all know that an asset has more value when purchased than the same asset a few years later. This common knowledge is called depreciation in finance and accounting syntax. Depreciation refers to the diminishing of the value of any asset with each passing year. When it comes to residential properties, this reduction in value is made up to some extent by the Australian tax rules. The ATO guidelines allow property owners to claim a deduction in tax amount on the basis of this reduction. This deduction is calculated as per the extant investment property depreciation rules.

The deduction in tax payable is applicable to the following two types of assets on residential properties:

1. Capital Works Deductions:

This is the deduction applicable to the capital assets of a property. In simpler language, it refers to the immovable part of a building, like walls, floorings, tiles, doors and windows, wiring, etc. The only thing a house owner needs to keep in mind is the cut off date for the enforcement of this legislation. All properties constructed after 20th July in the year 1982 would be eligible for this deduction. Capital works deductions on properties constructed before this date would be eligible only for repairs, renovations, etc.

2. Plant and Equipment Depreciation:

This is the second way under which claiming depreciation on investment property is allowed under ATO guidelines. This is applicable for all the removable parts of a building. In the ATO guidelines, a complete list of around 1500 such items is provided. Some examples are upholstery, electrical gadgets, air conditioners, etc. A typical building is considered by the ATO to have a useful life of 40 years. But the movable assets listed under plant and equipment have much smaller life spans listed under the guidelines.

Why You Need a Professional Help for Claiming Depreciation?

Most people consider basic financial aspects while purchasing an investment property. But if one considers the tax benefits from the depreciation perspective, the picture changes a lot. The problem with these calculations is that a layman might not be able to do them accurately. A professional company would be able to help in the following two ways:

  • Before purchase, they would help with the calculations of the tax implications of depreciation.
  • After purchase, these companies and their teams would help file tax returns accurately, taking depreciation into consideration.

This is why most prospective buyers consult these experts before the purchase decision.

Conclusion:

A home can be a financial boon in more ways than we think. Experienced and dependable consultants like Deppro can help an investor maximise tax savings by creating an accurate depreciation schedule. They could also ensure that multiple deductions are not claimed by mistake.