Tax Time Tips – What you can claim

Rental property expenses – Australian Tax Office

Knowing what you should claim, can claim and may be able to claim as a tax deductible expense against your investment property can be very confusing. The greatest risk is that an investor can be missing out on credible advantages if the right guidelines are not followed.

Maximising your return on investment (ROI) does depend on the black and white balance sheet strategy you implement and submit at tax time – end of financial year. Sourcing some quality information is not that difficult…. you simply need to know where to look. Follow Rental Success and in time you’ll know where to go.

Did you know that you can claim expenses for your rental property even while the rental property is vacant between tenancies or even better still vacant while you are seeking to secure your first tenant?

The Australian Tax Office website indicates that an Australian property investor can claim expenses relating to a rental property but only for the period your property was leased out (occupied by tenants) or being available for rent; for example, advertised for rent. At times a property might be advertised but the securing of its tenant can take time. During the vacancy period the ATO allows you to treat the property as if it was tenanted.

The Australian Tax Office identifies the following expense items as acceptable claimable expenses:

  • advertising for tenants
  • bank charges
  • body corporate fees and charges
  • borrowing expenses
  • capital works
  • cleaning
  • council rates
  • decline in value of depreciating assets
  • gardening and lawn mowing
  • insurance
  • interest expenses
  • land tax
  • legal expenses
  • pest control
  • phone
  • property agent fees and commissions
  • repairs and maintenance
  • stationery and postage
  • travel undertaken to inspect or maintain the property or to collect the rent
  • water charges.

If part of your property is used to earn rent, you can claim expenses relating to only that part of the property. You will need to work out a reasonable basis to apportion the claim. This might be something you had not thought about if you are simply renting out a spare room in your house or apartment. Before you jump into the process of renting out the spare room seek some professional advice from an accountant, property manager, or financial planner.

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