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about depreciation?

We like to keep the process for ordering your tax depreciation schedule as simple as possible. The only information we need to start the process is the address of your investment property, and an approximate date of purchase.

The following list outlines the information we will require in order to complete your schedule.

If you are having difficulty finding the details, please don’t be concerned, we will be able to further assist:

  • The name the property is held in;
  • Purchase price;
  • Settlement date;
  • Details to arrange an inspection if necessary (e.g. Property manager or tenant details if self-managed);
  • The dates for any period of time you lived in the property (and it was not rented);
  • Date from when your property was available to rent (if different from settlement date);
  • Details of any improvements or additions you have made to the property (if you do not have records of costs we are qualified to estimate those for you);
  • Details of any furniture included (if you do not have records of costs we are qualified to estimate those for you).

If your property is brand new and you have been quoted a discounted fee, we will ask you to provide to us:

  • A copy of your floor plans;
  • A detailed list of property inclusions;
  • Your contracted build price.
  • In most cases your builder will be able to assist you with these details.

Check out our depreciation schedule order form here.

Market fees for depreciation schedules can range from a few hundred dollars to over $700.  

Our fee will depend on the property – commercial or residential, and whether the property is brand new or established, and how much information is available.

Our fees for brand new properties typically start from $440 (though discounts apply for clients of some large developers with bulk orders).

Our fees for established residential properties typically range from $590.00 to $690.00. 

Get a quote for a residential depreciation schedule here.

Commercial fees are quoted based on the building and scope of works. 

Get a quote for a commercial depreciation schedule here.

No, accountants can apply actual costs, but are not qualified to estimate construction costs.  Tax Ruling 97/25 of the Income Tax Assessment Act (1997) specifically states that “valuers, real estate agents, accountants and solicitors generally have neither the relevant qualifications nor experience to make such an estimate.”

In order to maximise your depreciation claim you need to have a depreciation schedule prepared by an appropriately qualified professional – a Quantity Surveyor!

A tax depreciation schedule is much more than just a table of costs. In order to fully maximise your claim, and to save your accountant time (which ultimately saves you money) you need to ensure your quantity surveyor will provide the following:

  • A summary of property information
  • A methodology explaining how the schedule was compiled
  • A detailed list of plant and equipment assets
  • Schedules for diminishing value method
  • Schedules for low cost and low value pooling
  • Schedules for prime cost method
  • Nominated effective lives for every each plant and equipment asset
  • Nominated depreciation rate applicable for each plant and equipment asset
  • A table of division 43 building works, including any renovations by the investor
  • 40 year projection covering you for the life of the building

Depending on the scope of work and availability of your tenants, we can usually gain access within a week of you giving us the instruction to proceed. Our turnaround from inspection is approx 5-7 business days – the fastest in the industry.

Definitely! It’s all about maximising your tax deductions and putting as much money as we can back in your pocket. You will be asked at the enquiry stage if you have added any improvements, which we will include in the depreciation schedule at no extra cost.

Where necessary, we will also conduct a thorough inspection and historical records search in an attempt to uncover any works the previous owners may have carried out on the building. If we find the right evidence, our expertise allows us to estimate a value that can be included in your tax assessment.

It would depend on how long ago you bought property, but in most cases yes. Ordinarily we aim to maximise tax depreciation deductions immediately upon purchase of the property.

However, as you are unable to claim tax depreciation for the period you were living there, we will re-structure the schedule (within the ATO guidelines) to minimise the depreciation claimed for the period you occupied the building and maximise depreciation in the period it was leased, or available for lease.

Once the depreciation schedule is complete and the invoice has been settled a soft copy will be emailed to you and your accountant. The best thing about our depreciation schedules is that they provide a complete summary of claims for your accountant to include in your tax assessment. This saves your accountant time, which in turn saves you money over and above the tax savings represented in the schedule.

We are available for consultation with your accountant at all times either before, during or after the schedule is complete. In fact we enjoy solid working relationships with many accountants who benefit from this level of service, so we’re more than happy to deal directly with your accountant if that is more convenient for you.

This can sometimes be a little bit of a grey area, and you need to make sure you are not claiming improvements as repairs, and vice versa. Generally speaking, a repair is something which restores an asset back to its original condition. For example: if you bought a brand new investment property, and the tenants scratched some paint off the walls while moving furniture, when you paint that wall you are repairing or restoring it back to the condition it was in when you first bought it. This would be considered a repair, which you could write off immediately.

However, if you bought an existing property and decided to paint the walls in an effort to improve the condition of the building from when you first purchased it, this would be considered a capital improvement which you would write off annually at 2.5% per annum (for a residential property). 

Read our full blog abour repairs and maintenance versus capital improvements here.

Our tax depreciation schedules last you for the life time of the building, assuming it remains in the condition it was in when we conducted the initial inspection. If you add minor improvements over the years such as a new hot water heater, or you added a swimming pool or garage, simply send your costs in to our office and in most cases we can update your schedule free of charge.

The only time you would need a second schedule was if you carried out substantial renovations/refurbishments from the time that the original tax depreciation schedule was compiled.

We have had discussions with some property investors who chose not to claim the division 43 capital works allowance, because they were afraid that it would reduce their cost base, and therefore increase their Capital Gains Tax liability if/when they sell the property.  A couple of things those investors may not have considered:

  • If you own the investment for more than 12 months, you are eligible for a 50% discount on your CGT liability; plus
  • Claiming the full depreciation benefits of an investment from the beginning gives you the opportunity to use that additional cash now (perhaps to reinvest, pay down liabilities etc), as opposed to realising a potential saving in your CGT liability at some time in the future, if/when you dispose of the property.  Remember, a dollar in your hand today is more valuable (holds more purchasing power), than a dollar in your hand sometime in the future. Therefore it makes sense to claim every deduction available to you as early as possible

Most importantly, for compliance purposes your quantity surveyor must be a registered tax agent with the Tax Practitioners Board. For further assurance your quantity surveyor should also be a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

Following that, your quantity surveyor should have at least 5 years experience in preparing capital allowance and tax depreciation schedules that are tailored specifically to the investor’s financial situation. A tax depreciation schedule is not just a table of costs and dates; it is a complete exercise that requires the utmost attention to detail both in the office and sometimes onsite. Your quantity surveyor should be able to provide over the phone estimates of the potential claims you could expect to make as an investor, and then follow through with an accurate schedule. Your quantity surveyor should be available for consultation to you and/or your accountant as often as required either before, during or after the schedule is complete.

We suggest using a quantity surveyor that has been operating for a number of years, with evidence of a qualified and experienced team. You want your quantity surveyor to still be around in the case of an audit, a report update or a lost report. The quantity surveyor should also be responsible for arranging access to the property and should bear the cost of any travel expenses or council/authority searches that may be required to fulfil their service promise to you. And finally, your quantity surveyor should also have the integrity to advise you not to proceed with the tax depreciation schedule if they feel the outcome will not be substantially in your favour.

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Get a Free Quote for a Depreciation Report.

We’ll include an estimate of available deductions, and if we can’t guarantee a strong result, we’ll let you know up front and there will be no cost to you.