What is tax depreciation?
Find out how tax depreciation works in Australia.
About Tax Depreciation
What is investment property tax depreciation?
Capital allowance and depreciation are some of the largest tax deductions available to property investors.
Watch this short explainer video for a quick introduction to tax depreciation and how it benefits property investors.
Not into video? Transcript of the video is below.
Every year thousands of property investors pay more tax than they have to because they don't claim a tax deduction for the depreciation of their investment property.
Depreciation is an accounting term that refers to the ageing and wearing out of an asset over time, and it is typically one of the largest tax deductions claimable by property investors.
Even if an investment property appreciates (goes up in value), from an accounting perspective and in the view of the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the building and included fixtures and assets still wear out and diminish in value over time (they depreciate). This loss in value each year is claimable as a tax deduction.
Depreciation is claimable as a tax deduction on both residential and commercial investment properties. The deduction is applied against the property's income in the same way that other property expenses are e.g. borrowing costs, property management fees, repairs and maintenance etc. Unlike those expenses, depreciation is a calculated deduction, you don't have to incur an expense that year in order to claim it, it is calculated for you by a quantity surveyor.
A quantity surveyor will provide you with a Capital Allowance and Tax Depreciation Schedule, that you then provide to your accountant when completing your tax return.
Get a Free Estimate of Tax Deductions you can claim...
We’ll also include a quote to provide a tax depreciation schedule, and if we can’t guarantee a strong result, we’ll let you know up front and there will be no cost to you.
How is tax depreciation calculated?
Depreciation is claimable on both the building (construction costs) of a property, and the assets installed within a property.
These are also known as Division 43 and Division 40 deductions.
The most effective and reliable way to ensure you are claiming the maximum allowable depreciation for your building and assets is to have our expert team produce an ATO compliant capital allowance and tax depreciation schedule for you.
Who Calculates Depreciation
Can an accountant calculate my depreciation?
An accountant can calculate asset or Division 40 depreciation, but only from fixed, given costs (receipts/invoices).
To maximise the depreciation deductions available, investors should engage a quantity surveyor to accurately account for both Division 43 and Division 40 depreciation. Only a depreciation schedule prepared by a specialist quantity surveyor will maximise the depreciation deductions available to investors.
Expert Quantity Surveyors
An accountant is not recognised by the ATO as qualified to estimate any construction or asset costs.
Reporting of accurate and maximum tax deductions typically requires estimation of historical construction costs (including historical renovation works performed over time), as well as attributing a current value and effective life to many assets (or plant and equipment items). An accountant is not recognised by the ATO to estimate these costs and values and so will not be able to include these deductions in a depreciation schedule that they prepare. In order to report accurate results, this must be done by a quantity surveyor.
For a general estimate of the deductions you could be claiming check out our property depreciation calculator here. Or for a free, personalised estimate for your property specifically enter your details here or contact us on 1300 922 220 today. With offices across Australia from Newcastle to Perth, it’s easy to find the local help you need for your property depreciation requirements.
Got additional Questions?
Yes, you can claim tax depreciation on renovations to an existing residential property or commercial building. These types of claims will usually come under capital works (division 43) and/or plant and equipment (division 40). As the conditions of these sorts of projects are highly variable, we encourage you to get in touch with us to have the conversation about how you can maximise your claim.