Tax and legal advice

Maximise your tax deductions

By Brad Callaughan

blog-smallNegative Gearing has become a bit of a buzz word that is often used and not fully understood. People believe that if they negatively gear they will get a large tax refund. This however is not achieved unless you seek the right advice before purchasing your property and claim the right things.

Blogger: Brad Callaughan, Callaughan Partners

The ownership percentage of your property can make a huge difference. Negative gearing is more beneficial if you are in a highest tax brackets, however it can still have its  advantages for people on middle incomes, with the use of non-cash expenditure such as capital works write off and depreciation. We strongly recommend to every client to get a quantity surveyors report straight after purchase. This in itself can account for thousands of dollars every year without the physically outlay of the money each year.

Another recommendation of mine would  be to get your accountant to fill out a PAYG Variation each year. Effectively this will allow you to get your lump sum refund from the negative gearing benefit back in your pay each week, fortnight or month through the reduction in the amount of tax you were paying weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

As a property investor seeking a tax benefit you are always looking for the greatest amount you can claim in regards to the expenses on your rental property for the year. Given the confusion with capital expenses versus outright claimable, we set out below what you can and can't claim.

Before we begin though, I would like to point out the importance of record keeping. Without records and receipts we cannot claim a deduction. I get asked if there is any secret to record keeping, there isn't. Just file all your receipts into a A4  arch lever folder as you pay for it. If you are inclined you can break your expenses further down, but if not just get the receipt into the arch lever folder and let your accountant do the rest.

Capital Expenditure
You cannot claim a deduction for the costs of acquiring or disposing of your rental property.

These types of expenses below are capital in nature and go to the cost base of your property:
•    advertising to sell,
•    agent commission for selling,
•    legal fees/conveyancing on the purchase and sale,
•    stamp duty on the purchase,
•    Capital improvements
•    travel expenses to inspect before purchase
•    expenses not actually incurred by you, such as water usage or electricity expenses

Allowable Deductions

Accounting Fees - Bookkeeping costs, end of year fees or advise from your accountant regarding the property.

Advertising for Tenants - The cost to find tenants is deductible.

Bank Charges - Are deductible.

Body Corporate Fees/Strata Title Fees - These are to cover the shared running costs of the building such as repairs, insurance, gardening, communal lighting, etc.

Borrowing Expenses - Borrowing expenses include mortgage insurance, title search fees, registration of mortgage, stamp duty on mortgage and loan establishment fees. They are totalled and written off over 5 years.

Capital Works - Special building write off , based on the actual cost of construction. The quantity surveyor report gives you the amount deductible.

Cleaning - Internal and external cleaning is tax deductible along with the cost of materials.

Depreciation - Given to you on the quantity surveyors report.

Computer - Small proportion of computer depreciation for related use.

Gardening - Included cost of mowing lawns, yard maintenance etc.

Insurance - Building and landlord insurance.

Interest - Interest on a loan to purchase or used for income producing purposes.

Land Tax - Determined by OSR and is deductible for income producing assets.

Lease Expense - Normally organised by the agent and is deductible.

Legal Expenses - Legal fees to evict a non-paying tenant.

Mortgage Discharge Fees - The costs to discharge your mortgage.

Office Supplies - Stationery & postage

Property Management - Management fees paid to real estate agents to handle collecting the rent and paying the expenses.

Pest Control - Professional costs to make your property pest free.

Quantity Surveyor Expenses - The cost to prepare the surveyors report.

Prepaid expenses - If you prepay a rental property expense - such as insurance or interest on money borrowed

Rates - Council, water and sewerage are deductible.

Repairs - Repairs that need to be made to make the property inhabitable and attractive to rent. Be careful your repair won't be classed as an improvement. Repairs at the end of the tenancy will also be deductible even if they are to revert it back to a private residency, as long as done within that year. Repairs undertaken within 12 months of the purchase will not be allowed as a deduction.

Security Expenses - Security patrols

Telephone Expenses - Calls made to in relation to the rental property also  a proportion for internet for emailing the agent etc..

Travel - Travelling to inspect or maintain your property or collect the rent, you may be able to claim the costs of travelling as a deduction. This includes flights, car hire, meals, Cabs etc only if the sole purpose of the trip was to inspect the property and was only over night. If you take the whole family and inspect the property 1 out of the 7 days you have to apportion your expenses.


About Brad Callaughan
blog largeBrad Callaughan is a specialist in taxation, accounting and business advisory. He is the managing director of Callaughan Partners that was formed to deliver and exceed  client’s expectations, whilst charging upfront fees. Brad is an avid property investor and renovator. Brad is also a strong force behind the development as well as sitting on the board of the Ross Hutchinson Foundation. He can be contacted at http://www.callaughanpartners.com.au

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
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Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
object(stdClass)#1197 (52) {
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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
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  string(38) "from-pirouettes-to-property-investment"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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