The simple answer is NO – not in the way you’re expecting.
When buying an income producing investment property, the expenses associated with it’s purchase are treated differently to later repair, maintenance and ongoing management costs.
Many of the upfront costs are considered what we call a ‘capital cost’.
These include stamp duty, conveyancing costs and building and pest inpections.
You cannot claim these costs as a tax deduction in the year they were incurred.
Instead they get added to your cost base and essentially reduce your Capital Gain when (and if) you sell the property.
What if I don’t buy the property?
If you pay for a building & pest inspection on a potential purchase that does not proceed then there is no cost base to add it to which means this expense it is not claimable.
What if I run a property investment business?
Now this is a little different – but it really depends on what you mean by a “property investment business.”
If you’re in the business of purchasing long-term investment properties then the conditions described above relate to you.
On the other hand if you are a property developer who sells stock at the end of the project, or somebody in the business of buying, selling and trading properties then should be able to claim the upfront costs of running your business, rather making them capital costs.
There also will be many other tax reductions you can claim.
However you will lose the 50% discount on the Capital Gains Tax when you sell a property, even if you hold it longer than 12 months.