Who claims negative gearing losses (by age)?

Who uses negative gearing?neg-gearing-hero2-Recovered

Perhaps surprisingly, the claimants are mostly younger people.

This doesn’t quite fit the popular meme of older generations using unfair tax benefits to crowd out the youth, which maybe is why it wasn’t so widely reported.

More than a third of the claimants were aged under 35 in the 2013-14 tax year.

I expect this share could rise higher still as the respective populations of our largest capital cities pass 5 million and related housing affordability challenges see more young people looking to buy units and apartments as their first step on to the housing ladder.


However, the above having been said, as a percentage of the persons in each age bracket, as you move up through the age ranges the percentage of claimants as a share of total individuals increases. 

Intuitively this makes sense, as these age cohorts have had longer in their working lives to save up deposits and to build up their equity.

Realistically these days many folk are still in higher education until they are in their mid-twenties, so I doubt that this underlying trend will change too much in the future.

In fact, people do most things later in life than they used to…including dying!


It’s also increasingly common for folk to buy an apartment to live in which later becomes an investment property, particularly in the capital cities.

Overall, the figures – which I should note here were researched by Cameron Kusher of CoreLogic-RP Data and not by me – show that net rental losses are used as much as a stepping stone on to the housing ladder for younger buyers as much as they are a means for reducing tax by older investors.

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Pete Wargent is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Secretary and has a Financial Planning Diploma. He’s achieved financial freedom at the age of 33 - as detailed in his book ‘Get a Financial Grip – A Simple Plan for Financial Freedom’. Pete now manages his investment portfolio, travels and works as a consultant in the finance industry from time to time. Visit his blog

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