Utilising the services of a quantity surveyor can significantly increase – or even double – investors’ returns yet few are aware of such services, according to Raine & Horne SA chief executive Kevin Magee.
Only around 20 per cent of investors know to hire a quantity surveyor, Mr Magee said.
“It’s surprising that so few Australian property investors know about quantity surveyors or take the time to bring one through their property,” he said.
“It’s one of the secrets that has helped many ordinary Australians become property investors with multi-million dollar assets.”
A quantity surveyor inspects a property, compiles a list of the materials used to build it and estimates what they were worth at time of construction. They then calculate how much depreciation has already occurred, as well as how much it will continue to depreciate during the life of the property – up to around 30 years.
The surveyor then forwards a depreciation schedule to the Australian Tax Office via a tax accountant to set up an ongoing tax claim against the lost value of the materials.
“Often the claim is double or at least equal to the entire total of everything else your accountant has been claiming for you,” Mr Magee said.
“And rather than receiving a lump sum at the end of the financial year, the money can be received upfront.”
An investor claiming a $5200 return, as per the depreciation schedule, can actually request the tax office to pay it out weekly, Mr Magee said, providing them with an extra $100 per week towards paying down their home loan sooner or to invest in another property.
A tax accountant cannot complete a depreciation schedule; only quantity surveyors who are authorised by the Australian Tax Office can do so.
“Hiring a quantity surveyor is easy to do and inexpensive, but the benefits are significant,” Mr Magee said.