Every asset you own goes down in value over a period of time. In real terms, this is because of wear and tear due to regular usage. In accounting and financial terms, this reduction in value every year is expressed as a percentage. The concept is broadly similar across the world. But the rules, implementation, and even percentages might vary a bit according to the country and asset category. For this post, let us consider the impact of depreciation on an investment property in Australia. Let us also consider what could be the likely costs involved in calculating Australian tax depreciation on the property.
Tax Implications of Property Depreciation in Australia
The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) has laid down very clear rules regarding depreciation of the value of an investment property. The annual reduction in the value of fixed as well as removable assets of a property would need to be listed in a depreciation schedule. According to this schedule, a property owner can claim deductions on the tax payable by him or her. That is why it is very important to get the schedule prepared by a qualified and experienced professional. Most good consulting companies have experienced quantity surveyors on their rolls. They take accurate measurements and make the schedule exactly as per the recommendations of the ATO. This ensures that a property owned is not taxed more or less than he should be.
Cost Implications of Preparing a Depreciation Schedule
Like everything else in life, there are several ways of going about this. One can even choose to make the schedule on one’s own. This way the depreciation for property would be calculated at zero cost. But this would run the risk of a major error. The error could turn out to be costly in the future. The second option is to employ a company which promises to charge less. You could get the job done cheaply, but there would be a catch. There would be several important aspects not covered under the charges. These would either reduce your tax savings later or cost you more in additional charges. Either way, you end up paying more than you save. So what is the best option?
How Much Will a Good Depreciation Schedule Cost?
The best way of deciding or understanding this is to first list down everything which you necessarily need. For example, do you need an exclusive report for your property? Or would you be okay with pooling the cost with other owners of the contiguous property? Should your report contain inputs from other relevant parties? Would the formal inspection report be part of your tax submission? Based on these points, it could cost as low as $175 plus GST. And it might go up to $1000 plus GST for a comprehensive report.
A good Deppro depreciation report might cost you more than other cheaper alternatives, but it will help you save more in the long run. You will not only pay less tax, but you will also be protected from needless taxation that is deductible legally.