Every year at tax time I wonder whether property investors are the only people in Australia who look forward to submitting their tax return!
That’s because property investment not only provides us with the ability to create long-term wealth through the purchase of income-producing assets, but our tax system allows us to claim legitimate expenses along the way.
But it’s important to understand which fees and charges are tax deductible and which ones will just get the tax office offside, which is obviously not something that you ever want to do.
While there are a range of expenses you’ll incur related to investing in property, the criteria for deducting these expenses varies.
According to the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) guidelines, the basic principles of the three main types of rental expenses are:
- Those that cannot be claimed;
- Those that can be claimed as an immediate deduction in the year that they are incurred;
- Those that can be deducted over a number of income years.
Deductions can generally be claimed for expenses that are incurred for the period that the investment property has been rented out or has been available for rent.
So, what can be claimed and what can’t?
Not all fees and costs that are associated with an investment property are able to be claimed as a tax deduction.
Generally speaking, you are not able to claim a tax deduction for any expenses that are related to acquisition costs of the property.
Things like stamp duty and conveyancing costs.
These are what are called capital costs and are added to the cost base of your asset when you calculate how much capital gains tax you’d pay if you sold your property.
Of course, you can’t claim costs that are not incurred by you such as electricity charges paid by your tenants; or costs not related to the rental or income generation from the property.
What can be claimed as a tax deduction?
Yet there is a long list of expenses related to the purchase and maintenance of an investment property that are able to be claimed as an immediate tax deduction and can be claimed in the income year that they were incurred.
Some of these expenses include:
- The cost of advertising for tenants for your property;
- Bank charges and interest on loans;
- Body corporate fees and charges;
- Council rates, electricity, gas and water charges (unless these are borne by the tenants);
- Building, contents and public liability insurance;
- Some legal expenses and lease document expenses;
- Pest control;
- Maintenance and service costs;
- Gardening and lawn mowing costs;
- Any fees and commissions paid to property agents and quantity surveyors;
- Any travel and car expenses
Some legal costs that are incurred in course of renting an investment property can also be claimed as tax deductions.
There are certainly myriad legitimate tax deductions that investors can claim every year, which require a bit of extra record-keeping along the way.
Keeping track of any deductible expenses incurred during the ownership of your investment properties will make tax time smooth and not a headache to avoid, so you can continue along your investment journey on the right side of the ATO.
HOW TO STAY AHEAD…
Why not discuss your individual needs & let Ken Raiss, director of Metropole Wealth Advisory, formulate a Strategic Wealth Plan for you, your family or your business?
Remember attaining wealth doesn’t just happen – it’s the result of a well executed plan so please click here and find out more about our services.
We offer you guidance and support that contribute to seamlessly combining the essential financial areas of your life.
Whether you are a business owner, a professional or a high-income earner we provide you with an individually tailored solution integrating the core disciplines of taxation, superannuation and property investment interwoven with finance, asset protection, succession and estate planning, personal risk insurances and philanthropy.
Using our depth of skills in these core disciplines, we adopt a coordinated project management approach and access other specialists as needed to further enhance our integrated advice solution.
Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.
The article is general information only and is intended as educational material. Metropole Wealth Advisory nor its associated or related entitles, directors, officers or employees intend this material to be advice either actual or implied. You should not act on any of the above without first seeking specific advice taking into account your circumstances and objectives.
SUBSCRIBE & DON'T MISS A SINGLE EPISODE OF MICHAEL YARDNEY'S PODCAST
Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.
PREFER TO SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL?
Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.