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Renters are being left out in the cold on energy savings: here’s a solution

By  Robert Crawford , University of Melbourne and Koel Wrigley , University of Melbourne Saving energy is a win-win. You reduce greenhouse emissions and you reduce your energy bills. However, improving energy efficiency is not an option for a significant number of people in Australia – renters. This is important not only because rental properties a...
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Turnbull should help the states switch stamp duty for land tax

By  Rachel Ong , Curtin University and Gavin Wood , RMIT University Before the government considers company or personal income tax cuts, it should help the states replace property stamp duties with a broad based land tax argues the Australian Council of Social Service . It is well recognised by tax experts that land taxes are a more efficient tax t...
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How to maximise depreciation

By BRADLEY BEER “Why can’t I just do it myself or ask my accountant to claim the depreciation deductions for me?” This is a question often asked by investors when they call to discuss the potential deductions available due to the wear and tear of the building structure and the plant and equipment assets found within their investment property. What ...
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New ATO data puts further hole in case for negative gearing changes

New Australian Tax Office (ATO) tax data has brought into question attempts to limit negative gearing. Ken Morrison, chief executive of the Property Council of Australia, says total losses from investment properties have fallen from $7.9 billion in 2011 -2012 to $3.7 billion in 2013- 2014, according to the ATO data. “The potential budget impact [on...
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Building a new home in the backyard

By JULIA HARTMAN This month I look at the tax consequences of building a new house in your backyard to live in and selling off your old home at the front. This scenario is much less tax problematic than the scenario I discussed last month of building a new house out the back to sell. As long as you’re building the house down the back to use as your...
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Pre-CGT property and you

By JULIA HARTMAN Recently I read some very bad advice about a property purchased before September 20, 1985, and I feel the need to set the record straight because it’s really not that complicated. The first point is that properties purchased before September 20, 1985, aren’t subject to capital gains tax (CGT) – nothing but a change of ownership wil...
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Old or new, property depreciation can benefit you

By BRADLEY BEER One of the most common mistakes made by investment property owners is to assume that because their property was constructed some time ago, there will be no depreciation benefits available. It’s an age-old myth perpetuated by the fact that legislation does outline restrictions based on the construction commencement date for capital w...
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Reduce risk and claim deductions correctly

By BRADLEY BEER With October 31 fast approaching, around 1.8 million Australians (approximately eight per cent of the population) will be in a rush to ensure they lodge their income tax returns in time. Before completing their tax returns, property investors should be careful to ensure their deductions are claimed correctly. In the lead up to the e...
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Tax implications of renovating for profit

By PAT MANNIX and BEC MACKIE We’re regularly asked about the tax consequences of renovating to sell for a profit and the answers and issues that may arise often surprise clients. Here’s some information on renovating for profit and the significance of substantial renovations. A few weeks ago, a client came to see me and one of the things we discuss...
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Tax office turns up the heat on property investors

By JOHN MAKLOUF Despite the winter chill, Australia’s property boom is expected to see record audits on investors, with the tax office clamping down on excessive claims by property investors. Earlier this year the tax office announced it will be scrutinising property investors and, with the ability to cross match data with just about every governme...
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Add cash to your pocket with depreciation

By BRADLEY BEER Every landlord has a number of goals to which they must pay attention in order to have a successful experience as a property investor. These goals include obtaining the maximum weekly rent possible, choosing a reliable tenant and ensuring the property is well maintained in order to avoid hefty repairs and maintenance costs. The most...
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Depreciation on residential buildings – why 1985 doesn’t matter anymore

By MIKE MORTLOCK It’s amazing how certain aspects of tax depreciation stick in the minds of property investors and real estate professionals. One such example is the residential cut-off date for depreciation on the building structure. Most investors know that 1985 is an important year for depreciation, and many assume that a property built before 1...
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Utilising the margin scheme when selling new residential property

By PAT MANNIX and BEC MACKIE When building new residential property with the intention of selling for a profit, the biggest consideration, apart from income tax, is GST. Following on from last month, where we discussed the tax consequences of different types of developments, this month we take a more in-depth look at how you can use the ‘Margin Sch...
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Tips to improve depreciation deductions this tax time

By BRADLEY BEER A new financial year is here and, with it, property investors will be readying themselves for a visit to the accountant to complete their annual income tax return. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) encouraging property investors to be vigilant with their claims, it’s important to seek expert advice on the deductions availabl...
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Get yourself tax ready

By JESSICA DARNBROUGH With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) revealing it will speak to more than 350,000 taxpayers this year in a bid to crack down on dubious tax returns, it’s now more important than ever to understand exactly what can and can’t be claimed. While property investors are privy to a range of specialised tax breaks, there are also...
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Taxing property developments

By PAT MANNIX In recent months I’ve had a number of conversations with clients who are building new residential properties, a couple intending to keep the property and rent it out and some intending to sell for a profit. When I informed these clients of the potential tax implications of selling, they were quite surprised that GST could apply and th...
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Land tax – the good, the bad and the ugly

By PAT MANNIX and BEC MACKIE When you buy your first (or even second) investment property, land tax is likely the last thing on your mind. Even less likely if you’re buying a new family home and have decided to keep the old one and rent it out. With land tax rates skyrocketing in some states over recent years, this can be a nasty surprise. Land tax...
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Growth in granny flats is golden when depreciation’s claimed

By BRADLEY BEER Recent figures from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment have indicated a surge in popularity for construction of granny flats. The information shows that 4818 new granny flats were built in New South Wales in 2014. Nearly double the 2867 built in 2013 and three times more than the 1500 built in 2010. These numbers are sup...
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6 depreciation and CGT facts

One question that investors often ask about claiming depreciation on a rental property is ‘how will these claims affect capital gains tax (CGT) when the property is sold?’ CGT can be a complex topic for investors to understand, particularly as the answer to the above question can often depend on the scenario of the individual property investor. Int...
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Partial year deductions

By BRADLEY BEER Investors who have only recently purchased an investment property leading up to the end of financial year often postpone organising a depreciation schedule until the following year. However, even if an investor has purchased a property in the last few days of the financial year, it’s still worthwhile getting a depreciation schedule....
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