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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.