Getting Rental Properties Right

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If you are earning income from an investment property, you can claim deductions for your expenses. These expenses fit into two categories; what you can claim now, and what is claimed over time.

You can claim interest on loans, council rates, repairs and maintenance, and depreciating assets costing $300 or less, in the year that you paid for them. Other items, like structural improvements, ovens, adding fences and retaining walls, are depreciated over time.

Rental properties are a major target for the ATO this year:

· Rental income – Declare all rental income (including short term stays, renting out a room in your house, insurance payouts, rental bonds retained).

· Rental expenses – Rental expenses can only be claimed for the portion of time that the property was rented or genuinely available for rent. If, for example, you did not make the property available for rent while you were renovating it, you cannot claim the cost of the expenses over this period. Sometime the ATO will argue that a property is not genuinely available for rent even if it is advertised as being available. This can be relevant for properties in locations where there is very little demand during certain times of the year.

· Interest and redraws – If you have refinanced or redrawn on your rental property loan for personal expenses like holidays or a car, this will impact on the interest you can claim.

· Sale of assets – If you earned income from a residential property (renting out a room or the whole house), then it’s likely you will pay capital gains tax on any gain you make on the sale of the property. However, if the property was your home for a period of time, you might be able to claim a full or partial exemption from CGT. In some cases it will be necessary to obtain a valuation of the property at the time it is first used to produce income if it has previously only been used as your main residence.

For all enquiries, please contact us on 03 7022 6838 or via our website.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this blog is of a general nature only and is not intended to represent specific personal financial, investment, accounting or taxation advice. It does not take into account your particular objectives and circumstances. No person should act on the basis of this information without first obtaining and following the advice of a suitably qualified professional advisor. To the fullest extent permitted by law, no person involved in producing, distributing, or providing the information in this blog (Including WDS Business Group) will be liable in any way for any loss or damage suffered by any person through the use of or access to this information.

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