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Depreciation on Renovations – What Are Substantial Renovations and Do I Qualify?

Owning a property has never been an easy task. People might look at the security and income it provides however, they fail to notice the hassle involved in maintaining a property. The most common problem with owning property is the need to upkeep and maintain it regularly. Also, owning a property means you need to pay various taxes, and ensure you are staying updated with the latest tax laws. This blog looks at the sweet spot where both these issues converge. We will look at some nuances of the latest laws regarding a Federal tax depreciation schedule.

Recent Legislative Changes

Let us first take a step back and see what has changed recently. Earlier, the date of purchase didn’t impact the eligibility of claiming depreciation. Any depreciation on pre-existing plant and equipment was eligible. In 2017, the law was amended to state that owners were not eligible to apply for ATO depreciation rates for installations made by the previous owner. The present owner, however, was allowed to claim depreciation on renovations carried out.

Which Renovations Qualify?

The changed laws would be applicable only if the renovated property was then leased out. Also, the depreciation can be claimed only if the depreciation claim is made within six months of the property being leased out. The owner would be able to claim depreciation for both plant and equipment as also for capital works. The details of such renovations would need to be enlisted in the rental property depreciation report. Finally, there is another important point to keep in mind; after substantial renovations have been carried out, the property is also considered by this law as a new residential premises. Therefore, depreciation can be claimed on both elements of the property – renovated structure and new premises.

Let us see what kind of renovations would qualify for such depreciations. External walls, as well as interior supporting walls, are included. Similarly, renovations to the floor or the roof of the property also fall within the ambit of the modified law. Even if you are modifying staircases inside the house, you can claim depreciation for them. Some owners go deeper and even replace or remove the foundations of the structure. Even such renovations are eligible for claiming depreciation. On the other hand, it is important to remember that only ‘substantial’ changes would qualify. So if you have installed a new piece of equipment in your kitchen, it is likely not to be considered as a renovation. These fine points of the law might not always be easy for you to understand. This is why it is always recommended to use the services of a quantity surveyor. Such a professional can create a depreciation report in accordance with legal requirements.

Conclusion:

We still recommend that you utilise the services of a reputed consultant like Deppro, qualified and experienced quantity surveyors ensure that you do not miss out on any tax breaks that you are eligible for.

Differences in Depreciation between Houses and Apartments

Several factors need to be considered when calculating how much depreciation is required to be offered a particular property. Among those factors, the type of the property is one of the crucial factors that you cannot overlook when preparing a property report. It may be either apartment units or houses. Striking similarities exist when you calculate depreciation for both – houses and apartments. It may include the price of the property and the age of the property. You will come across differences when you take into consideration how the property was built.

Here are some essential depreciation differences between apartment units and houses:

1. Amount of Labor:

When you build an apartment unit and a house, the amount of labor will be more for an apartment. This is due to the multiple floors in an apartment unit. And, this is the reason why the apartment unit’s build cost is different from house with regards to capital works also known as division 43. It is specifically the case for new apartment units with several floors. Apartment units are eligible to claim a small portion of the common areas that helps in enhancing the depreciation further. This claim can be made under plant and equipment (division 40). This means that an apartment unit owner is eligible to claim the equal amount or more depreciation. You need to find out your depreciation residential rental property in accordance with the rules.

2. Plant & Equipment:

The next vital factor is the Plant & Equipment aka Division 40 – that these two types of properties may claim. Both apartment units and houses are eligible to claim plant and equipment costs. This includes light, blinds, shades, etc. Owners will also be able to claim a portion of common strata tools spotted in the common areas of an apartment which may consist of lifts, gym equipment, and fire extinguishers. These items can be claimed under Division 40 of Plant & equipment. These additional sources of depreciation permit owners of apartment units to claim higher depreciation in comparison to houses. You can prepare your tax depreciation schedules on the basis of these items. If doubts persist, you may hire a quantity surveyor.

3. High Cost of Construction:

Owners of apartment units will be able to get more tax deductions per year compared to a house owner. This is because of the higher cost of construction and eligibility to claim various strata items for apartment owners.

Conclusion:

An apartment unit will fetch higher tax deduction in comparison to a house. You may seek the services of a quantity surveyor who will carry out a site inspection. The quantity surveyor must have a vast knowledge of Australian tax return; which will help to establish the amount of plant and equipment items on the property and take measurements of the property and make vital notes to boost the depreciation schedule.

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.

6 Things That Affect Cash Flow When Property Investing

Cashflow maximisation is a very smart option if you wish to maintain your property portfolio. With having the stability of your cash flow situation, you can continue growing your portfolio. However, having a negative balance of cash flow can really restrict you from procuring more properties. Elements like tax depreciation can have an impact on such situations.

So how can you keep your cash flow in positives? Many investors perceive aspects like rent to be affecting their cash flow. However, there are six other factors that contribute to this.

1. Rent:

Rent is one of the smoothest ways to have a steady rental income thus have a better cash flow position. In order to maximise the rent, you need to make sure that the rental property has a substantial yield; and Also that the vacancy periods are minimized. Understanding the tax depreciation investment property may help to avoid extended vacancies.

Another way to avoid these vacancies is by procuring properties in capital cities because then there will be constant high demand.

2. Loan Repayments:

Cash flow gets really chopped off due to the loan repayment. A simple way to tackle this situation is by selecting a loan plan which is interest-only.
Since the property will be an investment the only goal will be to service the debt through the rent received. Taking a look at your depreciation schedule may give you some perspective.

3. Fees of Body Corporate:

We seldom get in touch with body corporate and it requires a hefty fee. However, it is better to completely avoid them since they can create a major leakage of cash flow. If you contact a professional for your depreciation on investment property ATO, he will furnish you with the same advice.

4. Council Rates:

Council rates are another medium to chop your weekly profits, that’s why you need to reduce them. The most optimal way to do so is by completely avoiding the high end of the given markets. Since that is where you will find the rates to be higher. Instead, use this money to have your depreciation schedule made.

5. Maintenance:

This is a very unpopular opinion but the maintenance cost is, in fact, the deadliest of them all. One of the most dangerous things you can do as a property investor is to buy an old property that requires hundreds of thousands worth of refurbishing and constant maintenance. Thus, it is better if you buy a new property.

6. Depreciation:

We have been hinting this throughout the post and we would finally like to talk about the importance of tax depreciation. People perceive depreciation as a deduction of value but what they miss out is that depreciation incurs a bigger tax return. Thus play smart here and buy newer properties since they get the most depreciation in the first few years.

Wrapping-Up:

We have spelled out everything you can do to increase that cash flow and keep it in the positive. If there is one takeaway we want you to have is to make use of that tax return on depreciation and get your depreciation schedule made.

Tax Deductions That Property Investors Can Claim

When you seek to achieve financial freedom, an investment property can be an attractive proposition. And, investment property comes with tax benefits. A landlord gets several options to bring down their annual tax bill. A large number of times, these deductions are the difference between a negative cash flow and a positive cash flow. Investors are eligible to claim deductions on their property for the period/s in which it was rented. And, they can claim a deduction for the portion of an expenditure that was used for business purposes. Therefore, they should calculate depreciation on rental property and prepare a record to prove all these details.

Here are the top tax deductions that property investors can claim:

1. Loan Interest:
Investors will be eligible to claim the interest levied on a loan for an investment property. They can also claim interest on any bank fees for servicing that loan. For instance, if you happen to incur $20,000 interest on your loan and $200 in loan fees, you can always claim them on your personal tax return.

2. Rental Advertising Expenses:
Landlords make efforts to find tenants and spend money on various types of advertisements. If you advertise your property using various online tools, brochures, and signs, you can claim them in the same year.

3. Land Tax:
If you have a rented home on your investment property, you use the land tax as a deduction. The tax and the timing may differ between states; the timing will decide when you can claim the cost. You may consult the tax advisor of that particular state to get an idea of the estimate tax returns. He will also let you know that you have claimed the right amount in the right year.

4. Strata Fees:
If your property happens to be on a strata title, you can also claim the cost of body corporate fees. If the fee includes garden expenditures and maintenance, you won’t be able to claim these expenses separately.

5. Capital Gains Tax Discount:
If you made a capital gain by selling the investment property, you must pay tax on profit. If you purchased and sold the property in a period of 12 months, the net capital gain gets added to the taxable income. It will raise the amount of income tax you will be paying. If you had possession of the property for more than a year before selling, you will get a 50 percent capital gains discount.

6. Building Depreciation:
Depending on when your property was constructed, you can claim a deduction on the depreciation of the building structure. You can also claim a deduction if you undertook any renovation on the property. You should have a clear idea about the allowable depreciation on rental property.

7. Stationary and Phone Expenses:
If you are a landlord, it is similar to running a business venture. You can claim deductions on phone costs, internet, electricity, stationary, etc. But, you must claim for that portion of these expenditures that relate to the investment property.

Conclusion:
You must have a clear idea of the various deductions that you can claim. As per the record of ATO, there are 1.9 million property investors residing in Australia. The country has a whopping 2.7 million rental investment properties. Every year, many property investors miss making claims of allowable tax deductions. It happens because they lack the awareness of all the expenditures they can claim as tax deductions. As a property investor, you should be aware of the tax deductions and Deppro depreciation to make the most of your investment property.

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.

Significance of Real Estate Depreciation for Rental Property Investors

Many rental property investors fail to comprehend numerous tax advantages that they are entitled too, in particular, real estate depreciation. When you own a rental property, you are bound to receive tax advantages. Real estate depreciation can be defined as an income tax deduction wherein a taxpayer can retrieve the expenses or other costs. A depreciation schedule can bring down the taxable income of investors. A large number of investors also call it; a phantom expense. The IRS allows investors to avail tax deductions on the basis of an apparent decline in the real estate’s value. Real estate depreciation expects that rental property’s value dip over a period of time due to wear and tear. The investor may get cash flow from the property and may reflect tax loss courtesy because of real estate depreciation.

Advantages of displaying investment property tax depreciation

You can avail the advantages when you show investment property tax depreciation. The main advantage is that it can bring down the overall tax burden. It can also benefit real estate investors as they can save a substancial chunk of money every year on their taxes.

Investment properties that can be depreciated for tax deductions

If you want to make your property eligible for depreciation, you need to meet certain requirements. The taxpayer needs to have possession of the rental property and can also depreciate capital improvements. You must use the property in business or income-generating activity. If a taxpayer uses the property for business as well as for personal reasons, they can only deduct depreciation for business use. And, the property needs to have a calculable advantageous life of more than one year. You may seek some professional advice on how to calculate the exact depreciation residential rental property.

Tips to calculate real estate depreciation

It is not a mammoth job to calculate the exact real estate depreciation. You can carry out the calculation in 3 easy steps given below:

  1. The real estate value is constituted by land and building values. And, depreciation applies only to the building. The first and foremost step is to allocate the property’s purchase cost. After that, the purchase cost must be allocated between the land and building value.
  2. As you know the land is not liable for depreciation, it is the building that will be subject to depreciation. The building is to be depreciated over the IRS prescribed useful life. The life is labeled as 27.5 years for residential rental property and 39 years for commercial land. Now you ought to divide the building value by 27.5 to obtain the depreciation expenditure. You can also take the help of experts to prepare the rental property depreciation schedule.
  3. Now you need to multiply the depreciation expenditure by the marginal tax rate. This will give you property tax savings from real estate depreciation.

Conclusion:

Real estate depreciation is a vital tax deduction for the scores of real estate investors. The real estate investors must not neglect it. It is crucial for investors to comprehend the fundamentals of depreciation. It will offer benefits to investors with tax planning. They will also comprehend the important after-tax investment returns. In the longer run, it will help them in claiming depreciation on a rental property.

 

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.

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.