Tax and legal advice
Philippe Brach

Capital gains tax: what every investor should know

By Philippe Brach

There’s one aspect of property investing that you really need to get your head around when you become a landlord, and that is taxes.

Blogger: Philippe Brach, CEO, Multifocus Properties and Finance 

It may sound boring, but in this respect the truth is: what you don’t know can bite you in the back pocket and take a huge chunk out of your profits.

From the second you sign a contract to buy a property, you will be introduced to a world of taxes that seemingly never end, including stamp/transfer duty, land tax and capital gains tax (CGT).

It’s important to view tax as being part of the cost of doing business as an investor; if you agonise over the payments, you’ll just cause yourself stress.

It’s also important that you have an understanding of the rules that surround certain tax situations. For instance, CGT can be a complicated beast, so here are a few things you need to know:

1. It always pays to hold your asset for 12 months

I don’t like using blanket statements like ‘always’ but in this case, I feel like it’s appropriate. Why? Because if you hold your property asset for at least 12 months, you’ll get a massive 50 per cent discount on the amount of CGT you owe.

As a very basic example, if you were to make a $50,000 profit on a property deal, you would pay tax of between $8,060 and $24,500, depending on your annual income and current tax rate (inclusive of Medicare/budget repair levies).

By holding the asset for just 12 months, you can slice that tax bill in half – saving you literally thousands of dollars.

Now, there are investors or speculators in property who use a ‘reno and flip’ strategy, which means turning around a property in a short time frame. Their profits can be substantially eroded simply because they sell the property before 12 months have passed. In my view, this is a wasted opportunity to basically access free money.

2. Contract dates are very important

When the Australian Tax Office (ATO) assesses your property transactions for CGT, it looks at contract dates, not settlement dates. If you sign a contract on 1 April but you don’t settle the property until 30 August, the ATO deems you to have owned it from 1 April.

You only have to hold the property until 1 April the following year to meet the 12-month eligibility requirement for the 50 per cent CGT discount – even though you’ve technically only owned the property for seven months.

3. Only a capital loss will offset a capital gain

Let’s say you sell a property and, for whatever reason, you make a loss of $25,000. You also earn $80,000 income.

Come tax time, people often assume they can offset that $25,000 loss against their regular salary income (reducing their taxable income in this case to $55,000). But unfortunately, you’re not allowed to deduct a CGT loss against your income.

Instead, you carry that loss over from one financial year to the next until you experience a capital gain. In other words, selling an asset (such as property or shares) for a profit is the only way you can financially offset against a capital loss.

4. There is only one way to avoid CGT: just don’t sell

Holding your property assets for the long term is the easiest and most effective way to avoid paying CGT.

Of course, sometimes this isn’t possible. Your needs change over time; that negatively geared property that helped you minimise your high tax bills five years ago may be chewing through your disposable income now that you’ve changed careers to a lower-paying role.

But before you make the decision to sell any property, make sure you review your overall investment strategy and reconsider your goals.

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About the Blogger

Philippe Brach

Philippe Brach

Multifocus Properties & Finance was established in 2005 with the aim of mentoring investors to create wealth and invest in their future by building an investment property portfolio.

The company is led by Philippe Brach who has over 25 years experience in the international corporate world specializing in finance, accounting and investment. He is a fully qualified and extremely experienced real estate agent, concentrating his attention solely on investment opportunities around Australia. In addition he is a highly regarded mortgage broker, being accredited with around 35 different lenders.

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podcast

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Purchasing their first property 15 years ago with the intention of creating a property portfolio which would see them comfortably supported during their retirement, Max and Jeanette Schudeboom now have a portfolio of 13 properties.

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Max and Jeanette joins  host Phil Tarrant to discuss their property journey, compare the Australian market to Max’s home town of Holland, and share their plans to maintain the size of their portfolio.

The pair also unpack how they manage and finance their portfolio, discuss the process they go through when choosing where to invest, and share the tips learned from 15 years as property 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:

Two components of good investment research
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Castle Hill
Point Cook
Elizabeth East
Huntfield Heights
Mt Warren Park
Albury
Cambridge Park
Penrith
Braemar
Morayfield
Melbourne
Mill Park
Edens Landing

 

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What 15 years in property investment teaches you
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Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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  ["title"]=>
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

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!

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Why is Australian property so unaffordable?
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
Townsville
Brisbane
Paddington
Sydney
Orange
Melbourne 
Glen Iris
Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals

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