Tax and legal advice

Tax depreciation: what investors need to know

By Bradley Beer

When selling property, something that can differentiate a good agent from a great agent is their general understanding of the financial aspects that add value to an investment, writes Bradley Beer of BMT Tax Depreciation.

One of these aspects is depreciation which can make a significant difference to the cash flow position an investor attains from the property they purchase.

It can therefore be a useful tool that agents can use to assist with their sales as it can help buyers calculate whether a property is affordable or not – or whether it has hidden value when tax depreciation benefits are realised.

Despite the extra cash flow depreciation can provide investors, it is all too often overlooked or underclaimed by those who are entitled to it.

Depreciation is a tax break for investors who own income-producing properties. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) allows investors to claim deductions for the wear and tear that occurs to a building’s structure and the assets it contains over time.

By enhancing an investor’s awareness of depreciation and the wealth of tax savings that could be hidden within a property, agents can further solidify a relationship of trust with a client.

An investor is naturally focused on achieving a strong investment return, so as an agent, encouraging clients to explore tax depreciation and its benefits may help them achieve a positive investment outcome.

The 2017 federal budget proposed legislation changes to deductions for plant and equipment assets in residential investment properties. This will be an important factor to advise clients of so they can be aware of any impacts to their scenario in the near future.

While the rules are yet to be legislated by Parliament, it is proposed that owners of secondhand properties will only be able to claim deductions for plant and equipment assets they spend money on themselves or for which they directly incur the expense.

This means those investors who exchanged contracts for secondhand properties purchased after 7:30pm on 9 May 2017 will no longer be able to claim depreciation for existing plant and equipment assets.

However, affected investors will still be able to claim capital works deductions for the building structure if the property commenced construction after 15 September 1987.

When it comes to plant and equipment deductions, it is estimated that around 12 per cent of a typical residential house is made up of these items. Therefore, deductions for the capital works component of a secondhand property will still entitle owners to a significant claim.

Current investment property owners will be happy to hear that properties purchased before 9 May 2017 will be grandfathered, and depreciation deductions can continue to be claimed as per normal.

There is certainly no expectation that agents become depreciation experts. However, a general understanding of depreciation and the new proposed laws could add value to client relationships.

Some basic education can end up creating a ‘win-win’ for client and agent, where the client maximises the cash flow from their investment property and the agent solidifies their relationship with the client.

Who knows... the valuable tax savings investors could achieve from depreciation may help a prospective investor to decide to go ahead and buy or even encourage them to make additional property purchases down the track.

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About the Blogger

Bradley Beer

Bradley Beer

Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS) is the chief executive officer of BMT Tax Depreciation. Bradley joined BMT in 1998, and has substantial knowledge about property investment supported by expertise in property depreciation and the construction industry. Bradley is a regular keynote speaker and presenter covering depreciation services on television, radio, at conferences and exhibitions Australia-wide.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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