Property 101: Maximising depreciation claims

With the end of the 2015/16 financial year less than two months away, Angus Raine, executive chairman of Raine & Horne, is urging Australian property investors to have a current depreciation schedule in place by 30 June 2016.

“Almost 80 percent of landlords fail to maximise depreciation claims against their investment property, potentially missing out on thousands of dollars come tax time,” says Mr Raine.

“The problem is that many landlords either aren’t aware of the benefits associated with depreciation, or don’t have an up-to-date depreciation schedule, which enables them to claim against the reduction in value of items such as carpets, curtains, stove cook tops, some light fixtures, shower heads and so on.

“Each year, landlords can claim between 10 percent and 40 percent off a variety of depreciable items, and sometimes more.

“In many cases, 2.5 percent of the building cost of the investment home is also claimable on an annual basis.”

Landlords should seek professional support when creating or updating a depreciation report, according to Mr Raine.

“Arranging a specialist tax depreciation company such as BMT to carry out the report will ensure that everything is done by the book,” says Mr Raine.

This advice is particularly appropriate for established properties, where it is also possible to back-date missed depreciation claims by two years.

“Always seek professional advice for established investments as it can be trickier to navigate the tax deductions.

“Moreover, the costs associated with a depreciation schedule, which can be between $650 and $700 per report, are also tax deductible,” advises Mr Raine.