Tax Considerations When Investing in Australian Properties as an Expat

Investors invest in Australian property for a number of reasons. Among the other advantages, such as the location and stable investment options, tax advantages constitute one of the primary reasons for the decision.

That said, there is a different set of tax laws for Aussies who live overseas. Does it make it a less attractive option to invest in the properties in Australia? Certainly not, if you make some fundamental considerations before proceeding with your investment decisions. Read on further to find out more about these tax considerations.

Key Tax Considerations for Non-Resident Aussies before Investing In Australian Property

  1. Tax Deductions: If you rent out your newly purchased property in Australia, you can claim tax deductions relating to the costs of maintaining it. This includes both cash and non-cash deductions.
  2. Depreciation: In layman’s terms, tax depreciation is a form of tax deduction which is concerned with the reduction in the renovation and improvements of rental property. You can claim it on your tax filings in connection with your income. It considers the fact that certain improvements such as carpets, kitchen cupboards and curtains that you make to your property on rent are likely to diminish in value over time. This generally happens due to wear and tear.
  3. Negative Gearing: Negative gearing refers to a kind of financial leverage wherein an investor borrows a certain amount of money with the objective of owning a piece of property to generate income. Normally, the piece of property in question is greater in value than the income which is likely to trickle into the wallet of an investor due to the investment.

If you are seeking ideas about claiming depreciation on investment property based on negative gearing, you can use this concept to cut down your losses with respect to your other income sources. This will help you to minimize your overall tax liability and taxable income in a year. Whether you are a native or non-resident Australian, you are entitled to receiving the benefits of negative gearing to reduce your losses.

  1. Capital Gains Tax: Sometimes the value of a property may hit the upward trajectory owing to various reasons. If an investor holds a piece of property for at least twelve months and decides to sell it thereafter, they become eligible to claim the capital gains tax. It involves one’s marginal income tax rate and provides a tax discount on 50% of capital gains to Australian residents. Unfortunately, if you are not an Australian resident you do not receive the benefits unless you qualify for it by meeting certain tax laws.

Conclusion:

When it comes to dealing with Australian tax laws, the wise thing to do is get in touch with an expert from a reputable depreciation service firm such as Deppro. Irrespective of whether you are a resident or non-resident, do not forget to consult the experts from a reputed firm before filing your depreciation claim to be on the safe side. They can be the real guardian angels for you when you are in a state of a fix.

Can My Accountant Do The Tax Depreciation Report For My Rental?

Accountants are not just tax savers but you can also call them real saviors who can churn out your taxes in the right way to save your hard-earned money. But while calculating your property depreciation costs you might wonder “Can my accountant do the tax depreciation report for my rental?” Well, this can be taken as one of the contentious issues as accountants are not qualified enough to prepare tax depreciation reports.

A tax depreciation report necessitates a greater degree of consideration than the calculation of the costs involved in materials and construction labor. Accountants are not qualified enough to carry out the construction estimate costs on their own. Additionally, if accountants claim to do the property depreciation schedule, they end up in confusion which may amount to massive financial losses. Read on to find out the reasons why an accountant is unable to carry out property valuation.

Reasons why an accountant is unable to prepare tax depreciation report:

  • Accountants are not equipped to determine building expenses, which covers more than only materials & building labor.
  • Auditors are not equipped to evaluate building works & associated expenses of past works covering the life of the rental or property.
  • Depreciation demanded by auditors without the application of a professionally qualified tax depreciation schedule is considerably more traditional & result in thousands of dollars in wasted reductions for the investor.
  • Quantity surveyors require to prepare a report in advance in order to allow auditors to carry out the tax depreciation report with the help of an investment property calculator. As accountants have no idea about quantity surveying they cannot effectively do the report if there is no quantity surveyor. Thus, it can be said that it is the quantity surveyors who are qualified enough to do the tax depreciation report. Without the help of a quantity estimator, it is almost impossible for an accountant to carry out the tax report for your rental property.
  • Construction costing and building skills are extremely essential for preparing a tax depreciation report. Without the proper knowledge of construction, one cannot manage to prepare a property depreciation report.

Thus, all your confusion ends here as now you know why an accountant is unable to prepare a tax depreciation report. In order to carry out a tax report, the knowledge of construction and building planning is an essential factor. One cannot be an accountant and a civil engineer at the same time as everyone has their own cup of tea to drink.

Conclusion:

In order to carry out tax reports for your rental property, you need to hire a property valuer with a sound knowledge of construction and quantity surveying. Quantity surveyors and valuers are well-equipped to carry out and determine tax reports for a rental property which an accountant is unable to do. Therefore, you should consider hiring a valuer and a quantity estimator to carry out your tax depreciation reports for your rental property.

Repairs, Maintenance Vs Capital Improvements

Before delving too heavily into this, first, you need to understand the basic meaning of repairs and improvements. So, what can be considered as a repair and what can be considered as an improvement? Improvements can add value to your property, making it more beneficial and fruitful for you in the long run. Basically, it will increase your profit at the end of the year. While repairs are needed to maintain the health of any asset or property, it will keep the asset in good and working condition for a short span of time. We would recommend discussing tax depreciation schedules with a professional and qualified accountant for this purpose.

Understanding Improvements:

The improvements may include:

  • adding assets or anything that adds value to your present property
  • upgrading to a new technology
  • adapting something to a new trend or technique
  • restoration of some aspect of a property

There can be some examples of improvements like installing a security system, an air conditioner, a heater, renovating your kitchen, replacing tiles, replacing the entire roof and much more. Improvements always add to the profit, therefore, you cannot deduct the cost of improvements in the current year. You have to keep track of the expenses and plan a tax depreciation schedule so that at the time of selling your property, you can get tax benefits from it.

For example, if your property’s current value is $200,000 and 20 years later you want to sell it for $400,000, but you have made improvements costing $50,000 then you need not pay tax on $200,000, rather you will pay tax on the amount $150,000.

Understanding Repairs:

Repairs are done in order to keep things moving and keep them in a healthy state. They are not meant to add value to your property, but they will bring the asset back to its original condition. They can only add short-term value to your assets. There is tax depreciation on repairs and maintenance that you do on your assets. Depreciation basically involves all the costs and expenses incurred to keep a property in a well-managed condition. Every expense can be related as a property depreciation tax deduction.

Some examples of repairs include:

  • repairing window glass
  • cleaning air ducts and vents
  • replacing electrodes in water heaters
  • replacing sewer pipes

Repairs can be deducted in the current year as they only aid in keeping your asset in operating condition, not causing longevity or prolong the useful life of the property. An example of a repair would be changing the oil in your bike. This will keep your bike in good condition, however not necessarily increase its life.

You are expected to perform repairs more than twice in a period of 10 years to maintain a working condition of your asset. These tax deductions are possible only when you are not using the property as your personal residence. You can file repair expenses only when you are using the property in your business or you are renting it. You can get more information and depreciation reports for your investments on Deppro.

How Common Property Assets Can Supercharge Your Upfront Deductions

It is pertinent that investors are aware of all of their entitlements. One of such is an entitlement to claim against a unit you own in the ambit of a complex. You can make this claim premised upon your share of the ownership.

This yield on investment property is most commonly denoted in form of a unit entitlement.

It is usually reflected on the strata plan of the owner or upon the plans of subdivision. You can measure this entitlement to claim per lot and then a summation of all the lots.

Unit Entitlement: Explained

Let’s understand this by analysing an example. So let’s assume that unit entitlement of a person is (say) 60 and the aggregate of all the lost come down to 800. Then, by this, we can deduce that the person has a 7.5% claim over the commonly owned assets.

In a typical example, per unit claim gets smaller in case there are larger developments involved. However, this small percentage can contribute considerably to the claim. That’s how Deppro Perth works. The two basic and very common headings under depreciation are the structure of the building and the assets of the plant.

Importance of Common Area Deductions in the Depreciation Schedule

Undeniable claims can be derived through the construction value of common areas when looking at the structure of the building alone. Building tax depreciation can be filed for returns. For instance, if one particular unit of your property has a construction cost of approximately $100,000, but the additional detailing done to it like pools, floors, gyms etc. can add up to thousands or even millions of dollars.

The real impact of the common area deductions can be traced on the assets mainly associated with plants and equipment. Numerous assets are usually left unnoticed such as fire alarms, fans used for ventilation, carpets, lifts, etc. All these carry huge investment amounts which can be tax deductible.

Even an air conditioning plant that holds a value of millions of dollars will give out a single unit entitlement of a couple of thousand dollars to the investor because of the deduction that occurred across years. Thus, an asset like air conditioners which carry high investment amounts is not actually which would provide you with considerable deduction. But, numerous other assets and equipment do promise complete depreciable value return to the investor annually.

How does it work?

This happens in a very logical manner. The assets or equipment which are of less than $301 and aren’t a member of any particular set, can be written off completely. An example of this can be taken of the door stoppers. Collectively when seen, the stoppers can cost over $25,000 but when the share of an individual investor is calculated, it’ll hardly reach up to $100. Other than this, some other common assets which are commonly used by the investors and thus fall under the category include motors, assets used for barbecue, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, treadmills, swimming pools, and their accessories etc. All of them are deductible immediately and can give you remarkably reduced taxable property.

Conclusion:

ATO property depreciation reduction can be experienced to a great extent by the common property. This is the major reason why units help you extract more deductions than houses generally. A fact to pay attention to is where the deduction is in the schedule. A large number of assets have a tendency of giving the deductions within the birth year of the ownership of the unit. This allows the investor to grab the advantage of improving his/her cash flow statements. Thus, a significant charge can be experienced in the upfront deductions of your common assets and their depreciation.

4 Facts every Property Investor Needs to know about Claiming Depreciation on their Rental Property

When it comes to depreciation schedules for your rental property, it is quite important to know all the necessary facts included within the same. Given below are four important facts to understand tax depreciation:

Fact 1: Depreciation is known to be the largest set of deduction, which is available for any property investor

To start off with the first fact, it is really important to know that tax depreciation is known as one of the largest set of deductions. Depreciation lies within the range of $2,500 – $5,000 for the existing house whereas the brand new one averages around $10,000 – $13,000 per unit. It is typically done for the first complete year for standardised residential houses or properties.

Let’s Take an Example to Understand Deppro Tax Depreciation

John, a senior officer of the IT department happens to purchase a unit in his city to make his first investment. That very unit was built around 10 years ago, as a matter of fact John bought it for around $540,000 in the month of April 2017. The yearly income of John is $75,000.

Every year John’s unit goes through the aging process, along with all the other common areas that go in the unit development. As John bought and rented his very property before the 9th of May, 2017, he can raise a claim for the act of depreciation of his building. In addition to that, he can also raise a claim of Deppro tax depreciation for the entire assets included, as a matter of tax deduction.

Fact 2: New properties happen to generate better depreciation deductions for all the investors

When investors purchase brand new properties for investment purposes, it ends up generating greater depreciation deductions. It can be the very case for two vital reasons:

When it comes to constructing today’s properties, it costs an individual more than it was back in the day. A very important way to calculate depreciation is by calculating a mere percentage of the whole construction cost that will be deducted each year. When all the equipment and plant assets are new, it initially ensures that they are eligible enough for the annual depreciation deductions.

Fact 3: It is been said that 90% of properties that are old qualify for deductions in the shape of depreciation

It is quite vital to understand that new properties happen to generate one of the best depreciation deductions, which many of the investors fail to realise. To understand it in a much easier way is when a property is built 40 years ago, it is understood that there will not be any value left in order to depreciate and later claim.

If one specific property was bought before the 9th of May 2017, the assets that come within that very property will also qualify or be eligible for depreciation deductions.

Fact 4: Benefits of tax depreciation, when claimed, outweigh the impact made on CGT

Some of the investors are only concerned about the claiming of depreciation now, and on the contrary think that they are only increasing their Capital Gains Tax, which will be made payable if they happen to sell off their property.

Having said in the tax depreciation report, that only the depreciation, which is claimed for Buildings and Structures are deducted from the cost of your base. The Deppro tax depreciation cannot be claimed on Division 40 – assets such as stove, hot water system, blinds, and air conditioner.

Properties rented or bought after 7.30pm in the month of May 2017 do not make annual claims for the act tax depreciation report of depreciation on Division 40 assets present in their property. However, when the property gets sold out, the value accumulated on that depreciation is claimable as the expense, which further goes on to reduce profit on its sale as well as the potential payable CGT.

Know the Status of Depreciation Deductions on your Property

Mentioned above are some of the most important facts that investors need to keep in mind before claiming depreciation on their rental property. An easy way to do so would be to use Deppro tax depreciation for further assistance.

How to Maximise Depreciation for Investment Property

One can consider depreciation of a property as a simple deduction on the actual worth owing to the ageing and wear and tear of the property that one owns. It can be termed as the deduction that results out of overtime assets. When it comes to investment, even the most experienced investor tends to overlook the benefits of a depreciation report. While there are accountants for a majority of tasks related to the calculation of taxes, there is hardly anyone who pays attention to depreciation schedule for investment property.

Property Tax Depreciation

The value of a building goes down as it gets older. This is because, in the majority of cases, such buildings show the signs of wear and tear. According to Australian Taxation laws, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in particular, a property owner can claim depreciation if they generate income from their property.

Tips for Property Tax Depreciation

While your accountant can take care of all the aspects related to your business, they are likely to miss out on a depreciation schedule for investment property. After all, it is a payment which the administration owes to you. Though all accountants never overlook the matter, a majority of them prefer to have it handy while preparing your tax return. So, it is a good idea to reach out to a quantity surveyor for an assessment of your property.

Do Older Properties Offer a Good Depreciation Value?

Contrary to the notion that older properties have no depreciation value, the truth is that every property has some sort of depreciation value if it is used by its owner to generate some kind of income. Though the depreciation of a new property is much more compared to an older one, the latter can also carry a greater value than by virtue of updates and renovations.

Why Attach Importance to Tax Depreciation for Your Property?

On an average, about 80% of investors do not mind promoting the depreciation deductions. If you happen to be one of them, it is high time you made efforts to maximise it as far as possible. What’s more, the ATO has a provision wherein it allows taxpayers to go back to two previous tax returns and amend them to claim deductions. So, if you haven’t been claiming depreciation on your property, utilise it to your fullest advantage.

What to Remember for a Higher Yield on Investment Property?

An important thing to remember in connection with depreciation is that a majority of homeowners forget to take renovation into account while filing their tax returns. With every renovation, there is also the possibility of the existing assets being replaced by something new. And this makes for a cogent reason to qualify for depreciation. The ATO provides for claiming the remnant of value for depreciation in such cases.

Never miss the opportunity of having a quantity surveyor inspect your property in accordance with investment property depreciation rules. Make sure that they document each and everything as the ATO is likely to take their report into account. Once the renovation is done, ensure that the same surveyor takes a look at the property and notes down the details of it to determine the assets that have been removed or replaced.

Final Thoughts:

As a standard rule, remember to only get in an experienced quantity surveyor when you plan to get your depreciation schedule done. While there are other low-cost DIY options that you can explore as well, you may eventually end up spending more. Furthermore, the remuneration of a quantity surveyor, even as it proves to be more than that of your liking, is 100% tax deductible. Thus, even if you pay them a higher fee, it wouldn’t hurt you as you would get it back.

Tax Deductions You Didn’t Know You Could Claim From the ATO

It is said that death and taxes are inevitable. One never knows when, where, or how death can strike. But you do know that taxes come back to haunt you at least once every year. One thing that you mustn’t do is evade taxes. But what if you could reduce the tax liability without breaking any rules. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has detailed rules about tax deductions. While most big-ticket options for tax reduction are well documented, there are many useful rules which not everyone knows about.

Let us look at two such tax refund options which you might not have heard about – one on work-related expenses, and the other on the depreciation of your property.

1. Work-Related Tax Deductions:

Let us first look at the ways your work-related expenses could help you lower your tax. In case you have taken up a course of study which pertains to your current employment, all expenses on it beyond the first $250 can be claimed as deductions. In case you can show that you are doing your office work from home, then the expenses incurred for that can be claimed. Some common examples are stationery, printers, computers, electricity expenses, and even chairs and desks. For some specific jobs, footwear expenses which are specific to their job can also be claimed. If you have subscribed to any magazines or journals related to your line of work, even that can be claimed under tax deductions.

Some of the items on the list above must have surprised you, but we are not done yet. You can claim a total deduction of up to $300 without submitting any proofs, but beyond that, you need to submit evidence. So let us look at some other work-related expenses where you can show receipts and reduce your tax. What about the work clothes you wear? Well, you can claim up to $1 per washing and ironing, provided you can show receipts. If you are paying your mobile phone and internet connectivity bills and have receipts to show, you can add them on if you are using them exclusively for work. The maintenance expenses of the vehicle you use to travel to and from work can also be claimed. The maximum distance allowable is 5000 kms, which means an average travel of 25 kms per day is admissible if you go to the office around 200 days in a year.

2. Property Related Allowances:

When you use a reputable agency like Deppro, they will tell you the small and of course the big expenses you can claim. In terms of assets, the bricks and mortars used in your property can also help you reduce your tax liability. You must remember that the land on which your house is constructed is not considered to be a depreciable asset, so you can’t claim tax depreciation on its value.

The ATO has recently changed its rules regarding claiming of tax depreciation. You need to hire a trustworthy agency who can send a qualified quantity surveyor to your property. The surveyor can make a list of all the assets and accordingly create a property asset list, based on which you can file your tax depreciation returns.

Investment Property Calculator – Learn About High Return Investments

Investors buy a property for two separate benefits. First, they can rent their property out which ensures regular, steady cash flow. Additionally, they would calculate depreciation over an extended period. This would be done with the help of an investment property calculator. This calculator takes into account the annual depreciation while filing Australian tax returns. But in order to get the best benefits, the calculator must be accurately constructed. The depreciation impacts must be correctly calculated.

Who can Benefit from the Investment Property Calculator?

If you are an investor yourself, now you already know how you can benefit. But, for examples, if you are a real estate professional, you too can pass on the benefits of tax depreciation to your clients. This will help you gain a sense of trust from your clients, which might even lead to repeat business and referrals. But what if you are a regular tax consultant with no relation to real estate? You might still have clients who invest in property. You could use a good investment property calculator. This would help you to do the calculations accurately.

Who Can Help You?

Whether you are a property investor, a tax consultant or a real estate professional, you can be assisted by employing a dependable firm to help you calculate tax depreciation. If you are looking for someone with expertise in Australian property rules, Deppro can help. Deppro will provide you with the services of registered quantity surveyors, who can help create accurate property reports.

Wrapping Up:

With the complexity in tax rules and the frequent updating of regulations, you need expert help. Expert help will ensure that you do not fall foul of the law. You can also get the maximum benefits by submitting the perfect investment property schedule.

Why You Need a Quantity Surveyor for Property Depreciation Schedules

A residential or commercial property construction is never easy. During construction, a record needs to be maintained for every expense. This could include materials, labor, registrations and other costs. A quantity surveyor keeps track of the construction costs. But that is not his only job. He also monitors the costs so that they stay within budget. The report of the quantity surveyor also helps create an accurate property depreciation schedule. That, in turn, would help claim the depreciation tax benefit and also sell the property at a fair rate.

Compliance Rule for a Property Depreciation Schedule

It is not enough for the property owner or the contractor to keep track of quantities and costs. That won’t be admissible by law in a property depreciation schedule. The tax claim must have a quantity survey done by a registered quantity surveyor. It can’t be done by a chartered accountant or by the owner himself. The property owner must use the services of an enlisted quantity surveyor for tax depreciation investment property.

Benefits of Quantity Survey

One benefit of using a registered quantity surveyor is the compliance to regulations. But there are more. You would also be able to get the most accurate measurements. They would be aware of the latest regulations and prepare reports accordingly. For example, did you know that there was a change in tax rules in 2017? Has this had an impact on tax depreciation schedule for rental property? A licensed surveyor would help you get the accurate tax allowances as well.

The Process of Completing a Quantity Survey

A good quantity surveyor would involve several site visits and accurate calculations. The surveyor would carry out physical visits several times. This would help him to take all necessary measurements. Once that’s done, the current regulations would help to make all the calculations.

An accurate property depreciation schedule would need several inputs. A registered quantity surveyor would help in making an accurate assessment of depreciation.

How your depreciation schedule give you bragging rights

Having a depreciation schedule isn’t anyone’s idea of a ‘must-have accessory’ but it pays off in more ways than one. Seasoned investors and business owners with several properties under their belts know well the bragging rights they’re afforded when they’ve got the depreciation schedule in their hands.

 

It’s less work
Tax time is the bane of most people’s existence . Organising account information, making sure expenses are correct and the like is a pain if you’re not organised. When you own investment properties, or brick-and-mortar stores, the amount of work increases substantially.

This is where the depreciation report comes in. After the quantity surveyor does their walk through and the company mails you the report, a large bulk of the tax reporting for those properties is complete. You don’t have to triple-check bills or receipts for a long time unless you do renovations.

 

It lasts for a LONG time
Ordering a depreciation report isn’t an annual task. It’s valid for the lifetime of the property. Companies like Deppro create reports that last forty years, so you’re set for life, or at least as long as you have the homes/shops in your portfolio.

This means, though, you must act quickly. As soon as you settle the deal with the real estate agent, get the depreciation experts in to assess. They prefer to see everything in the condition you bought it to make an accurate report. If the previous owners made renovations, then that’s a bonus as you’re eligible to claim their work in the report!

 

More (money) for you
The biggest bragging right of all? You’re paying less tax! Because you got the depreciation report done and passed off to your accountant in record time, there’s more money flowing back to you come tax time.

Fun fact: the fee for ordering the depreciation schedule is deductible.

A depreciation report isn’t glamorous, but its benefits are worth their weight in the size of your tax return. You can feel a little smug having less work on your plate organising expenses. Your accountant has the report, and you have the time to run your business.