Tax and legal advice

5 tips for landlords to survive tax time

By Sasha Karen

With tax time fast approaching, property investors may not be prepared. One landlord insurance specialist gives some tips on how to play nice with the tax man.

Carolyn Parrella, executive manager of Terri Scheer Insurance and property investor, says landlords often come under scrutiny from the ATO when lodging tax returns and it is vital they complete returns accurately.

“Landlords should consult their accountants to confirm what can and cannot be claimed as a tax-deductible expense. This ensures all claims are legitimate and the tax return amount is maximised,” Ms Parrella said.

“Seeking advice from a tax specialist can help make this time of the year much easier for landlords.”

Ms Parrella offered these five tips for tax time:

Negative gearing

“The net loss generated by negative gearing can be offset against other income to reduce the tax payable,” she said.

Ms Parrella added that landlords may be unaware interest can be claimed only when a property is available for rent.

“For example, if a property is lived in for half a year and leased as a holiday rental for the other half, you cannot claim the interest for the full 12 months.”

Insurance

Landlord insurance premiums can usually be claimed as a tax deduction, but Ms Parrella said this is typically overlooked.

She urged landlords to check their insurance policy to ensure they have the appropriate coverage. 

“A standard home and contents insurance policy won’t cover landlords for the specific risks associated with property investing,” Ms Parrella said.

Expenses

Landlords may also forget to claim costs they are rightfully entitled to.

For example, apartment owners can claim body corporate fees on strata or community title properties; landlords who rent furnished property can claim rental income as a tax deduction; maintenance costs can be tax deductable and running costs such as council rates, land taxes, and water and sewerage charges can potentially be claimable.

Ms Parrella cautioned that landlords should check first with their accountant on what can and cannot be claimed before submitting their claim.

Offsetting costs

She noted that self-managing landlords might be able to claim the costs of working from home.

“If you’re a self-managed landlord, you may be able to claim some of the costs of your home office. You won’t be able to claim all the costs, such as purchasing the computer and the monthly internet bills. However, a fair and reasonable part of this may be deductible.”

Property manager

Property managers can be useful for landlords and their cost can be a deductible expense, according to Ms Parrella.

“Appointing a property manager might create a potential tax benefit while assisting with organisation and saving time for landlords,” she said.

“A good property manager will take care of the administrative responsibilities involved in an investment property. They should also be able to help reduce the burden at tax time by compiling and completing the relevant paperwork for ATO reporting.”

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

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:

3 big property investment myths busted open
5 steps to take on low-risk property developments
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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune into this episode of Property Showcase!

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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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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Lessons from a falling market
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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