© Property Professor articles — www.thepropertyprofessor.net.au.
Reproduced with permission.
NOW that the end of the financial year is approaching, it is time for property investors to turn their attention to what they are able to claim as tax deductions.
Below are some of the common expenses that are claimed, but for more information see ato.gov.au
Bank fees and charges can vary widely but usually include monthly account keeping fees, an annual fee if you have a professional package and overdrawn charges. These fees are a tax deductible expense if the account is used for the purpose of investment property.
This includes print advertising such as newspapers, signs or through the internet for new tenants.
Costs associated with using the services of a property manager and legal costs are claimable.
The legal costs associated with residential property are usually not major because most states have a tribunal that deals with these matters at a minimum cost and without the need for lawyers. However, commercial property disputes can be very different.
This includes lawn mowing, gardening, pest control and repair and maintenance expenses. It can also include cleaning costs such as cleaning products or for hiring a professional cleaner.
Costs incurred as a result of travelling to and from the investment property to inspect, maintain or collect rent can be tax-deductible.
However, to claim these expenses, the property has to be the main purpose of your trip.
For example, if you have an investment property on the Gold Coast and you travel there to inspect the property but stay a week, you cannot claim the full week’s expenses and 100 per cent of the travel costs.
You will be able to claim only a portion of the expenses as you spent only a portion of time dealing with the investment property.
The tenant should insure their personal belongings, but the landlord needs insurance for things such as public liability, the building and contents. Some landlords also opt for landlords’ insurance to cover items such as rental loss or default.
This will be the biggest expense for most property investors. Check your loan statements and other bank documents that are related to the payment of interest on your loan.
If you have a principal and interest loan, only the interest is tax-deductible, not the principal.
To claim these expenses, keep accurate and reliable records including dates, amounts and receipts. This can be annoying at times – but the potential savings at tax time are worth it.
– Peter “The Property Professor” Koulizos