Maximising Taxation Refund on Your Property; Re-Examine Your Aspirations and Discover New Ways to Make the Most of Any Benefits

Article excerpt

IT'S tax time and property owners and those looking to buy are being encouraged to take steps now to maximise their tax refund.

Spokesperson for Mortgage broker Mortgage Choice, Belinda Williamson, said reassessing financial aspirations and identifying ways to make the most of any tax benefits could help investors achieve their property dreams sooner.

aKnowing what expenses can be claimed over the short and long term can make a big difference to a tax refund,a Ms Williamson said.

aIn preparation for lodging a tax return, now is a good time for property investors to organise any receipts and statements that relate to their rental property or properties,a she said.

aKeep in mind investors may be able to claim for a range of expenses, including agents' fees, advertising, body corporate fees, capital expenses, building maintenance and repairs, cleaning, insurances, home loan fees and interest payments. Don't forget council and water rates, plus the cost of travel to and from the property for inspections can also be claimed.a

Ms Williamson said one aspect property investors often overlooked when lodging their tax return was depreciation deductions.

aDepreciation applies to new and existing residential properties and in most cases owners of an investment property or properties are likely to be able to claim something. Depreciation on the original costs of construction can be claimed on any residential property built after July 17, 1985.a

But Ms Williamson warned it was always a good idea to check with the Australian Taxation Office or a depreciation specialist as there could be exceptions.

Claims could also be made for items falling in value over time, such as fixtures and fittings, floor coverings, appliances and built-in wardrobes.

Owners in strata buildings should keep in mind they may be able to claim depreciation on a portion of the value of items and equipment in common areas, such as carpets and furniture in foyer areas. …