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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.

Top 4 Tips for Maximising Depreciation Deductions in Your Hotel

When one mentions the word hotel, what springs to mind? Cozy rooms, tasty food, well-stocked wine cellars and men and women trying to make their guests comfortable. But behind the scenes, hotels have a lot of wastage (electricity, water and food). This wastage reduces their revenue and income. While hotels might look glamorous on the outside, they too need to save every dollar behind the scenes. One of the less known but very effective ways for hotels to save their hard-earned money is by filing the correct Australian tax return. This blog will tell you four easy ways to legally reduce your tax outlay for your hotel.

Hotel Depreciation Schedule

In case you are in the process of buying a hotel now, then the complete inventory of its assets would already have been made earlier. But you need not lose out on the available tax deduction on account of depreciating inventory/assets. You can still employ the services of a certified quantity surveyor and create a federal tax depreciation schedule. The assessment of different assets of a hotel is more complex than that for a residential property. The assets which qualify as ‘plant and equipment’ in a hotel have a separate listing in the ATO Depreciation rates. That is why a competent quantity surveyor can ensure that any claim you are eligible for doesn’t get missed out on. The quantity surveyor would also ensure that you do not pay tax for the same asset twice.

Make your renovations count

A hotel always needs to look its best at all times. That is the reason hotels undergo renovations or refurbishments quite frequently. As a hotel owner, you need to make sure that your depreciation schedule stays updated always. To ensure this, keep your quantity surveyor informed whenever you are planning an activity. They would advise you what to do with the assets you are replacing, and how to list it in your property report. Many hotel owners make the mistake of sending discarded items/assets to scrap. While the renovation is in full swing, keep your discarded assets aside, and also list out all the new fixtures and fittings being installed. At the end of the refurbishments, the quantity surveyor will make an overall assessment and update your depreciation schedule.

Try to stay within the industry

Like we mentioned before, hotels in particular and the hospitality industry in general, are quite different from others. While looking for a quantity surveyor, try to engage one who has extensive experience with hotels. That way, you will not need to explain your peculiarities to him, and he can easily understand your industry lingo.

Different treatments while buying new

We spoke earlier about situations where you are purchasing an existing property. If you do have a new hotel purchase, then you need to consult your quantity surveyor about how best to treat your assets. This will help you maximise your tax deductions and save money.

Conclusion:

If you are buying a hotel or own one, please make sure you get the best possible benefits of tax deductions on account of the depreciation of your property.

The Magic of Depreciation for Investors

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

What is depreciation?

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

What Conditions Must You Comply With?

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

The Calculation of Depreciation

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

Conclusion:

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

 

 

Ways to Cut Your Tax Bills through Depreciation

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

Assets on Which Depreciation is Permitted

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

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

Tip#1: Add on as Many Fixtures as Possible

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

Tip#2: Keep an Eye on Asset Value

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

Tip#3: Benefit from Residual Value Write Off

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

Conclusion:

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

10 Commonly Overlooked ATO Tax Deductions

Taxes are especially painful to small and medium sized enterprise owners. Neither do they have the scale of a large company nor the agility of a startup. But the tax rules are equally applicable to such business owners. This is the reason such business owners often fret about their tax burden. If you are one such person, you should be happy to know that we have good news for you. There are several legal tax deductions that are allowed by the Australian Tax Office.

List of the Commonly Overlooked ATO Tax Deductions

Here is a quick list of Australian tax depreciation and other allowed deductions:

  1. Any new or second hand assets purchased for your business can help reduce your taxable amount by as much as $20,000 AUD. This is different from the fixed assets listed on your property depreciation tax deduction.
  2. Any Union fees paid can be reduced from taxable income under the D5 clause.
  3. All donations of $2 AUD or higher are actually eligible for exemptions. The conditions are that these contributions are made to charitable organisations.
  4. If you operate your business from home, it can provide some relief as well. Remember that this is different from the tax relief your home can provide in your tax depreciation schedule. Here we are talking of the occupancy cost that you incur for running your business from your home. Your expenses on printers, computers, and even licensed software could be claimed under this head. The only condition is that they have been used solely for your business.
  5. In case you are paying any insurance premium, there might be good news for you. This depends on the kind of insurance taken. It should be a policy to prevent loss of business income. Other regular insurance policy premiums cannot be claimed, though.
  6. If you are educating yourself or upgrading your knowledge, the expenses are protected under the ATO rules. This would include expenses like textbooks, professional journals, related travel etc., just to name a few.
  7. This is a good one. If your work is mostly outdoors, and you spend a lot of time in the sun, then there is something for you as well. All expenses on sunglasses and sun shades are considered as expenses made for the protection of your eyes, and can be claimed.
  8. As a business owner, connectivity costs are very vital but sometimes can be quite steep. No business owner can survive without spending money on internet connection at all times, or on mobile phone expenses. The good news is that these too can be claimed.
  9. Say you have employed a tax consulting agency to help you prepare your investment property depreciation schedule ATO. The expenses on fees etc. can also be duly claimed as legitimate business expense.
  10. We’ve left the scary one for last – no business is ever insulated from the bad times. In case your business suffers financial losses in any year, the tax rules also allow you to claim relief on those losses. That’s what they call a silver lining for a dark cloud.