Tax and legal advice

Everything you need to know about holiday home tax

By Hannah Blackiston
Everything you need to know about holiday home tax

During the summer months, there can be a boost in investors looking to purchase holiday property. Here are some tax tips you need to be aware of for your home in the sun.

Last year, the Australian Taxation Office said it would write to investors who have purchased property in popular holiday destinations to ensure the deductions being claimed are correct.

To ensure you will not be singled out, Mark Chapman, tax communications director at H&R Block, has some tax recommendations for investors with holiday properties.

• If you rent out your holiday home during the period you are not using it, you need to declare the rental returns as income.

• You can only claim deductions for the periods the property is rented out or is genuinely available for rent. Periods of personal use cannot be claimed. This is particularly important for holiday homes, where the ATO regularly finds evidence of home owners claiming deductions for their holiday pad on the grounds that it is being rented out, when in reality the only people using it are the owners, and their family and friends, often rent-free.

• The costs to repair damage and defects existing at the time of purchase or the costs of renovation cannot be claimed immediately. These costs are deductible over a number of years. Expect to see the ATO checking such claims and pushing back against claims that do not stack up.

• The ATO is concerned that husbands and wives are, in some cases, splitting income and deductions so that the bulk of the tax benefit goes to the higher earning spouse, even though the property is actually owned 50-50. Make sure that if you jointly acquire a property with your spouse, everything – income and deductions – needs to be split equally.

• There are also several costs you cannot deduct, including costs associated with:

  • Acquiring and disposing of the property, including advertising costs and stamp duty. These costs would normally be of a capital nature and would be added to the cost base of the property;
  • Expenses you don’t actually incur as the owner of the property, for example costs in relation to the property which the person renting the property pays; and
  • Expenses not related to the rental of the property, for example interest on a loan that might originally have related to the property but where additional funds have been drawn down to fund private activities.

• There are other expenses, which, while not immediately deductible, can be claimed over a number of years. These include borrowing expenses (i.e. those costs linked to the financing of the property such as title search fees, loan establishment fees, stamp duty on the mortgage etc.), depreciation costs on assets used in the building (such as airconditioners, hot water systems etc.) and capital works deductions (such as costs spent on altering, improving or extending the structure of the building). But remember, you can only claim the proportion of costs that relate to periods the property was available for rent.

Investors should also be aware that the ATO has access to several sources of third-party data, so it’s easy for them to check if your claims for your rental are correct.

H&R Block encourages all investors to make sure they keep impeccable records and can prove any deductions that are being claimed against their property.

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Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

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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When buying property, it’s important to focus on what’s important. Investor Katarina Taurian shares just what exactly is important to her: having the mindset of looking past superficial cosmetic matters and homing in on the structural suitability and potential of a property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Katarina joins host Tim Neary to unpack her entry into the property market and experiences of rentvesting, and how the Smart Property Investment Show was vital  in a number of decisions which she made along the way.

Katarina discusses about the team that she had help her along the way, why she thinks that you should never skimp on a good solicitor and accountant, and the red flags which tell her why buying a new property doesn’t necessarily mean buying a better property.

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 buying new property doesn’t mean buying better property

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