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Uncovering the Tax Benefits of Commercial Property Depreciation

Are you facing difficulties deciding whether to invest in a commercial or residential property for your portfolio? It may become difficult to comprehend tax depreciation allowances available for investors of commercial property over those available for residential properties. There are scores of rules that are applicable and differences in depreciation discovered may vary considerably. However, when you gain awareness on commercial property depreciation, it will assist you in making informed decisions. You must acquire detailed knowledge of depreciation rules for rental property and commercial properties.

Given below are some ways that will help you in enhancing your tax benefits:

1. Are older buildings eligible for building allowance?

The building allowance can be described as a decline in the value of commercial property’s concrete, mortar, brickwork, concrete, etc. The date when construction began will help in deciding what building allowance you may claim. For non-residential properties, allowance is kept at varying interest rates. It is 2.5% (20 July 1982 – 21 August 1984), 4% (22 August 1984 – 15 September 1987), and 2.5 % (16 September 1987 – Onwards). You should have detailed knowledge of investment property depreciation rules but if you don’t, contact Deppro today to learn more.

2. Claimable objects differ by industry and actual life:

Every year, the ATO prepares a list of assets that you can and cannot claim. Commercial property owners do not have their own list. However, some assets are eligible to be claimed at varying rates to residential properties. For example, carpets are eligible to be claimed for a period of eight-year in commercial and ten years for residential. You will also find industry-specific assets that the ATO has specified for depreciation claims. And, if you have a restaurant, you can claim items in particular to your line of business. It is important to get the property valuation done by an expert.

3. Tax break assists small-time business owners:

It is worth noting that small business owners can significantly enhance their cash flow with the help of a tax break. According to the May 9, 2017, federal budget, the immediate asset write-off got stretched till June 30, 2018. The federal budget projected to stretch the legislation in 2018 once again and, after a long postponement, the extension of legislation was passed by Senate on September 12, 2018.

Conclusion:

The bigger the building, the more you may claim. The height of the building may play an important role in the amount of depreciation available for property owners. You may refer to ATO property depreciation rules. Bigger structures may attract increased deductions because there is more capital works expenditure involved in the building construction. And, multi-story buildings largely have common property assets like lifts and fire services that may lead to plant and equipment depreciation.

4 Commercial Property Depreciation Facts You Must Know

Many commercial property owners aren’t aware that they are eligible to claim depreciation on property. According to a study, approximately 80% of investors miss the benefits of their commercial property and end up losing plenty of money every year in Australia. It is imperative for all commercial property owners to claim depreciation. These deductions can significantly enhance the positive cash flow of an investor and diminish the negative cash flow. We have prepared a list of significant factors that property owners may consider in a bid to earn more from their commercial property.

Given below are the factors about commercial property depreciation:

1. Depreciation and how you can claim it:

According to the ATO, it is necessary for investors to prepare a report of their income-earning from their commercial property. This will prove useful when preparing their income tax assessment. And, property investors of commercial property are eligible to claim depreciation. Depreciation takes place when a property shows signs of wear and tear in its structure, fixtures & fittings over the years. It is considered to be a non-cash deduction which means that investors must not spend any amount to claim it. Property investors must calculate depreciation on rental property in an accurate manner to maximise their claim.

2. Life of a building:

Property owners will also be eligible to claim any latest renovations that took place since July 20 1982 snd, it doesn’t matter if it was carried out by an earlier owner. Additionally, plant and equipment depreciation can be claimed as well, irrespective of age. The instances of plant and equipment may include carpets, and ac units, among others. Expert quantity surveyors will carry out a property inspection and take images and prepare a list of additions made to the commercial property. They will offer an itemised tax depreciation schedule to property investors that include the availability of deductions for a period of 40 years. You may seek a Deppro review from our professionals, in case you encounter any confusion.

3. Depreciation of other items:

While preparing a commercial building property depreciation schedule, it may be tough to work out who is eligible to claim depreciation for specific items. Landlord and the sitting tenant will be able to claim depreciation for any fit-out made to a property. Tenants of commercial properties will be eligible to seek a claim of depreciation for any fit-out that they introduced. It may include blinds, shelving, and carpets, among others. Additionally, owners of a commercial property can also claim depreciation on any installed asset or assets left by a previous tenant.

4. Select a method:

After calculating depreciation, property investors may choose two methods for making a depreciation claim. This includes: diminishing value method and prime cost method – property investors can use either. Deductions will be calculated according to a percentage of balance you leave to subtract under the diminishing value method. Meanwhile, the deduction for every year can be calculated as a percentage of cost under the prime cost method.

Conclusion:

You must be aware of how to calculate depreciation for your commercial property accurately to maximise your gains. If you face any difficulty in calculating depreciation, use our Deppro contact number, and call our experts. They will help you calculate it accurately. You may consult their quantity surveyor as well who have achieved specialisation in tax depreciation.

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.

Can Depreciation on My Rental Property Be Back-Claimed?

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

How Many Years Are Back-Claims Permitted?

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

The Process for Back-Claim of Previous Years

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

A Review of the Entire Process

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

Conclusion:

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

Why the Depreciation Shake-up Gives Off-the-plan Investors an Edge at Tax Time

The year 2017 saw some changes brought about in the rules governing depreciation on investment property in Australia. The attractive option for claiming tax deductions due to the depreciation of the property value saw a cutoff date being applied – 9th May 2017. People who bought a second-hand property after date could no longer claim the deductions, as per the ATO regulations.
An Overview of Depreciation

We know that any asset undergoes wear and tear as it continues to be used. Accounting principles look at this reduction as a standard percentage of the value which gets reduced from the value of the asset. Under tax laws, this depreciation amount could be set off as a deduction from the tax payable. This would make a substantial change in the cash flows of a property owner. Based on the cost of the property, maintenance costs, reduction in value, and the reduction in tax payable, the depreciation could impact the net yield on investment property.
The New Tax Law

From May 9th onwards in the year 2017, second-hand property purchased would not attract the tax deduction. The only two categories allowable were new assets added to older homes and assets in new homes would allow admissible deductions. Those who were off this new plan could continue to claim under old rules. Also, capital works investments and fixed items added could still be claimed. But any assets that came along with the property went out of the purview of the deduction.
The Better Option between New and Second Hand

Because of this change, property owners needed to rethink their investment strategy. Back of the envelop calculations seem to present a clear picture. It was seen that a new property could work out much cheaper than investing in an older property of the same value. The detailed working of the investment property depreciation schedule ATO would provide a similar answer. What this does is to take the tax benefits out of the equation. So an investor should look at the cost-benefit analysis of the property only. Tax deduction benefits would cease to make a difference to the numbers. So how do the new tax rules affect the comparison between old and new? A property purchased in 2016 might turn out to be of similar value to a brand new property purchased in 2018. This needs investors to recalibrate their calculations carefully and in advance.
Conclusion:

In order to get the best property investment returns, an investor would need to calculate carefully. The best way is to leave it to the professionals. Consultants like Deppro could depute their qualified quantity surveyors to get the math right. They would set up the depreciation schedule according to the purchase date. The ATO has detailed lists of what can be claimed and for how much. These quantity surveyors would work out the numbers in accordance with these ATO guidelines. The amount that such a report would cost could ensure savings of higher amount if the calculations are done by a professional.