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By Sam Alaaeddin

The ATO busts 5 common tax myths

Recently the Australian Taxation Office sent around a bulletin busting 5 common tax myths.

Did you believe any of them?


Myth 1: Investors can claim travel expenses to visit their residential investment property.

Since 1 July 2017, investors can’t claim travel expenses to check on their residential investment property.

This includes long and short-term rentals, along with holiday homes.

Myth 2: Replacing like-for-like is always a repair or maintenance.

This comes down to ‘what’ is being replaced.

If it’s a depreciating asset, like a cooktop or pool pump, it must be claimed over each asset’s ‘effective life’, which is how long that item is reasonably expected to last.

If it’s replacing the rusted part of the guttering, then it’s a repair. However, if the whole guttering is replaced, including the rusted part – it’s considered capital work.

Myth 3: When buying a place to rent out, investors can claim conveyancer’s fees as a borrowing cost.

Conveyancing, along with state or territory stamp duty and several other costs, aren’t deductible.

These are the costs of acquiring the property.

However, investors need to keep this information for when they sell their property and can use it to reduce the capital gains tax (CGT) cost base.

Cgt Tax2

Myth 4: You only need a market valuation when you sell.

There are several reasons why property investors may need to get a market valuation, including when they sell.

When you earn income from your home, the ATO recommends property owners get a market valuation as Capital Gains Tax  may need to be considered, including when using the home as a:

  • long-term rental
  • short-term rental
  • running a business from home.

Myth 5: Having a rental property means you are in a business.

When you own a residential rental property, it’s likely you are an investor.

For this to be treated as a business by the tax department, you must have a lot of rental properties and manage them in a business-like manner.

Need more information on any of these?

Why not visit the ATO website for details about:

About Sam Alaaeddin With well over a decade's experience in asset and wealth management, Sam is an Elite Wealth Planner at Metropole and leverages his expertise to help clients achieve their wealth management goals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in law and commerce (Finance) and a Diploma in Financial Planning.

If the government wants to encourage property to be available for rental they should undo the chip chip chipping away they have been doing for years. Like restoring the deductible status of property inspection and make capital repairs deductible over ...Read full version

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