Tax and legal advice
tax time, help, calculator, key things investors need to tackle

The key things investors need to tackle tax time

By Sasha Karen

In order to maximise your tax return, here are some steps you can take. We spoke with an investment expert about some tips investors can take on board, including one that people are usually not aware of.

Michael Beresford, the director of investment services at OpenCorp, has had nearly 15 years with dealing with investments, and in that time, he has come with a few key tips that can make tax time a breeze for any investor.

1. Get a team, especially an accountant

The first and foremost thing, he says to Smart Property Investment, is to make sure that an investor is surrounded by the right team.

“What I mean by that is understand and have confidence [that] the people (i.e. accountants, and so forth) that are working for you understand the property sphere very well,” Mr Beresford said.

“The analogy I use is that accountants can be like doctors. Some of them specialise in one area versus another area. You don't go to an eye surgeon to get your foot operated on.”

In particular, Mr Beresford advocated for going to an accountant who specialises in property, and recommends going to one over trying to do tax time yourself.

“One hundred per cent. If you think about anything that you go about, having a specialised team gets you far better results,” Mr Beresford said.

“Most people out there wouldn't service their car themselves, they wouldn't try and cut their hair themselves, so where ... you have hundreds or thousands of dollars that can be maximised by having an expert maximise those tax deductions for you, it's well-worth paying a couple hundred bucks worth or accounting fees in order to be able to maximise that tax back and make sure that you're claiming everything.

“They don't have to be the superstar best out there and charge an arm and a leg, they just need to be capable and educated to get you the best possible return.”

2. Communication is key

The next key, Mr Beresford said, is to maintain communication with an account, and to consult with them as how they would prefer an investor to pass on their tax-related details.

“There's very little benefit handing them a shoebox of a whole bunch of receipts and expecting them to be able to try and understand what relates to what,” he said.

“Most accountants will have a checklist for property related deductions. Get their copy of that, populate it accordingly so... you're reducing your accounting costs because they're not spending hours trying to work out what you're trying to claim and they can make sure that everything that you spend money on relating to the property during the year is claimed and... maximise that result.”

3. Spread that return out

The last tip Mr Beresford mentioned, one that he says many of investors are not aware of, is to use a tax variation form to allow you to spread your return over the course of a year, as opposed to one lump sum.

“For example, let's say you have deductions on a property or two, and that equated to a $12,000 tax rebate, than most people claim that as a tax rebate at the end of the tax year in their tax return. The far smarter way if you're wanting to hold your portfolio as cost effectively as possible, is have that $12,000 ... spread to you throughout the year,” he claimed.

“So a tax variation form would allow you..., let's say you were paid on a monthly basis, to receive an extra $1,000 a month during the year in your take home pay.

“It's very easy to do, it's a downloadable form off the ATO website, you forecast your deductions and submit it to the ATO for approval, they then send the relevant payroll contact and your employer a template that says what your new tax rate is, and you receive the tax benefit incrementally in your pay throughout the year.

“That can be, especially if your investments are as tax effective as possible, that's a really great way to make sure that each property is costing as little out of your pocket, week to week, to hold [as possible], therefore you can hold a much larger portfolio for the cash flow that you've got.”

Additionally, spreading that return over the course of the year is also financially more responsible, as it takes away the temptation of looking to spend that return as quickly as possible.

That's really what it comes down to as it's far better for you to be getting a return on your money than the government,” Mr Beresford said.

“Everyone's situation is different. If you're a high income earner and you're rentvesting and you don't need that money week-to-week, [a] ... savings plan effectively is better for you so you're not tempted to spend it, then the last sum can work well.

“For the majority of people that are investing in property or anyone with a mortgage, just think about by having that money sitting in an offset account working for you, how much more quickly would you be able to reduce the debt on your own home, for example, as well.”

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podcast

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Luke’s first property investment included what he now looks back on as “learning experiences”.  He chose it only because it was close to where he lived, he bought it at the peak of the market and he elected to manage his (unreliable, damage-prone) tenants alone. Now, 16 years on Luke has 30 properties and a much better idea about how to approach the investment game.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show Luke joins host Tim Neary to unpack how he went about educating himself, how his investment style has changed over time and why patience is the name of the game.

Luke will also share how his initial mistakes discouraged him and had him doubting the wisdom of being an investor, and how his realisation of the importance of active management bought him back into line.  He will discuss the importance of having a strong support team and why it’s smart to put a proper value on your personal time.

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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AREAS MENTIONED: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide
Wollongong
Geelong
Melton South
Cairns
Perth

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An unsure start in property investment leads to a 30-property portfolio
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  ["title"]=>
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Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(8092) "

Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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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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Sydney
Brisbane
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Can property presentation result in a higher valuation?

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