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Depreciation and Your Investment Property

When a person buys an investment property, the intention is to generate an additional revenue stream from the rentals. But the process of looking for a good tenant and setting them up is not that easy. Then there is the issue of regular or ad hoc maintenance expenses, which eat away at the rental income. On top of that, there is the matter of paying taxes on the property and its income.

The Australian tax rules have made it possible for homeowners to get some relief from the taxes they need to pay for their property and its income. The rules regarding depreciation residential rental property provide for a reduction on tax on account of the depreciation of the value of the property.

There are two ways in which the deduction can be calculated. It could be either on the capital works or on plant and equipment. It is required that a complete tax depreciation schedule for rental property is created by the owner. This is a specialized job for which experts need to be brought in.

There are several companies which offer this kind of service. They employ qualified quantity surveyors who are trained to create this kind of report. It requires detailed measurements and counting of each and every small and big element on the property. Based on those data points, the complete rental property depreciation report is prepared. This is then used in and submitted along with the tax returns of the property owner.

There are some things to be kept in mind when claiming tax depreciation on investment properties. Here are some of them:

  1. There are cutoff dates for properties laid down. For commercial properties, the commencement date is 20th of July, 1982. For residential properties, the date is 15th of September 1987.
  2. For plant and equipment assets, the effective lives of each element would be taken into consideration. ATO has laid down a detailed list for this, and the tax returns would be filed accordingly.
  3. The individual effective life would also depend on the type of property where the plant and equipment asset has been used.
  4. House owners need to keep in mind that the depreciation rules would only apply if the property is not being occupied by the owners. Therefore, it has to be a rental or investment property for the depreciation rules to be allowable.
  5. The above rule can be relaxed if the property is purchased and owned by a trust or a company instead of an individual. In such cases, the owner (individual) can move in as a tenant of the trust and claim depreciation.

There are several good companies who can help you create the depreciation report for your property in line with the current regulations. They have teams of qualified technical specialists who would help prepare the depreciation reports and file the tax returns accurately.

How Common Property Assets Can Supercharge Your Upfront Deductions

It is pertinent that investors are aware of all of their entitlements. One of such is an entitlement to claim against a unit you own in the ambit of a complex. You can make this claim premised upon your share of the ownership.

This yield on investment property is most commonly denoted in form of a unit entitlement.

It is usually reflected on the strata plan of the owner or upon the plans of subdivision. You can measure this entitlement to claim per lot and then a summation of all the lots.

Unit Entitlement: Explained

Let’s understand this by analysing an example. So let’s assume that unit entitlement of a person is (say) 60 and the aggregate of all the lost come down to 800. Then, by this, we can deduce that the person has a 7.5% claim over the commonly owned assets.

In a typical example, per unit claim gets smaller in case there are larger developments involved. However, this small percentage can contribute considerably to the claim. That’s how Deppro Perth works. The two basic and very common headings under depreciation are the structure of the building and the assets of the plant.

Importance of Common Area Deductions in the Depreciation Schedule

Undeniable claims can be derived through the construction value of common areas when looking at the structure of the building alone. Building tax depreciation can be filed for returns. For instance, if one particular unit of your property has a construction cost of approximately $100,000, but the additional detailing done to it like pools, floors, gyms etc. can add up to thousands or even millions of dollars.

The real impact of the common area deductions can be traced on the assets mainly associated with plants and equipment. Numerous assets are usually left unnoticed such as fire alarms, fans used for ventilation, carpets, lifts, etc. All these carry huge investment amounts which can be tax deductible.

Even an air conditioning plant that holds a value of millions of dollars will give out a single unit entitlement of a couple of thousand dollars to the investor because of the deduction that occurred across years. Thus, an asset like air conditioners which carry high investment amounts is not actually which would provide you with considerable deduction. But, numerous other assets and equipment do promise complete depreciable value return to the investor annually.

How does it work?

This happens in a very logical manner. The assets or equipment which are of less than $301 and aren’t a member of any particular set, can be written off completely. An example of this can be taken of the door stoppers. Collectively when seen, the stoppers can cost over $25,000 but when the share of an individual investor is calculated, it’ll hardly reach up to $100. Other than this, some other common assets which are commonly used by the investors and thus fall under the category include motors, assets used for barbecue, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, treadmills, swimming pools, and their accessories etc. All of them are deductible immediately and can give you remarkably reduced taxable property.

Conclusion:

ATO property depreciation reduction can be experienced to a great extent by the common property. This is the major reason why units help you extract more deductions than houses generally. A fact to pay attention to is where the deduction is in the schedule. A large number of assets have a tendency of giving the deductions within the birth year of the ownership of the unit. This allows the investor to grab the advantage of improving his/her cash flow statements. Thus, a significant charge can be experienced in the upfront deductions of your common assets and their depreciation.

8 amazing home builds and overhauls from around the web to inspire your investment property renovation

Are you looking at the type of investment property you can ‘fix-up’ and flip for a profit? Or even turn into a rental? There’s hundreds of thousands of design pages, and just as many websites and blogs,  it’s difficult to filter out the noise. We’ve compiled some of the best ideas.

 

Curb appeal

Bringing Elements Together

This new home in Geelong brings different materials together to create a stunning facade. When you’re renovating your investment property, or building from scratch, look at the curb appeal of the other homes in the neighbourhood and see what you elements  can mimic…if not do better.

Lounge

Living Room Inspiration by HiPages

The lounge/living area is where your tenants will end up at the end of a long work day. They’ll kick up their feet, put on the Foxtel and spend the night in with a movie. Wood and concrete are hardy materials, though carpeting and rugs are more comfortable to walk on. You can change the finishes depending on the lifestyle and type of tenant you’re marketing to.

Dining/Kitchen

Galley kitchen designs to inspire a kitchen makeover

The heart of the home. Family members and visitors spend most of their time in this space. It’s also the most highly judged of the rooms in the investment property. Don’t scrimp on the paint or finishes. The space is meant to be functional, but also make it warm and welcoming, like this galley-style kitchen. Many modern kitchens have an island bench and an open-plan design that flows seamlessly to the dining area.

Master Bed

5 incredible house design ideas & images from Real Estate

Prospective buyers look at kitchens and bathrooms for value. Bedrooms, though, should never be overlooked. Master bedrooms are meant to serve as a sanctuary, preferably with an ensuite like this one above in Flinders House, Victoria. You can claim depreciation on the new fixtures when you renovate the investment property.

Bathrooms

Bathroom Ideas – Bathroom Designs and Photos by Real Estate

Rainfall shower heads, deep bathtubs and heated towel-racks? Tenants have high expectations and they’ll look right over your investment property if it doesn’t stack up.

 

Second Bedroom

Create an inviting guest bedroom

The more bedrooms, the higher the rental income! Your investment property might cater for roommates, couples, or a three-person family. But make the bedroom styling neutral. This way you can appeal to the maximum amount of buyers. Jo Carmichael from HomeLife has some useful tips in this article.

 

Study

Before & After: A Whole New Look for a Home Office

Simple, yet functional. If your investment property has an extra room, turn it into a home office. This is great for working parents and people who need an area to work on homework and projects.

Outdoor living

Affordable Sydney Patios by Houzz

A patio, balcony or a backyard is part of the australian way of life. If you have outdoor real estate, use it. Spruce it up with some new lawn, paint the fence and design it in a way so that it flows from the kitchen/dining area. INDESIGNS from Sydney has managed to pull this off in a Scandinavian-style cottage, complete with a kids cubby house. You might not put one in for your tenants, but it certainly adds character.

Garage

How to declutter your garage by Real Estate

Even this part of the house needs some attention. You mightn’t need to renovate it, but it’ll need a good clearing out. The tenants in your investment property most likely drive and the garage needs to have room to fit at least one large vehicle. This area also doubles as a storage space and adding shelves with help with functionality. Don’t forget about curb appeal; the exterior of the garage is always visible from the street.

Liked this? Read these:

  1. Buying an investment property for under $500,000
  2. 4 common rental property depreciation questions