We’re a few days out from the end of the financial year, which means our thoughts are turning to all things tax. If you’re gathering your paperwork, you might want to double check that you’re making the most of your property-related expenses.
Here are a few claimable expenses that might have slipped your mind:
Advertising for a tenant
If you have gone through an agent and advertised online or off, you may be able to claim for advertising costs. To do so, you must ensure that you can provide details that prove your property was available to rent.
Not only is an annual pest check a good idea for the health of your property (and for your peace of mind) but you can also claim the expense.
Rates, including council, water and sewage, are claimable.
Strata company payments are generally made every quarter and are allocated for the upkeep of a building. The fees include things like insurance, repairs, communal lighting and pest control. Your body corporate fee is a claimable expense.
There are a number of agents’ fees that you can claim, including statement fees, postage, bank charges and lease document expenses.
What about repairs and maintenance?
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) defines repairs as any work that is carried out to remedy a defect – for example, repairing a broken window or fence that has fallen down. Maintenance is work done to prevent deterioration, like maintaining reticulation systems or painting a property.
You can claim a deduction for the costs you pay to repair and maintain your investment property in the year that the work is carried out. You can’t claim for repairs and maintenance that are not directly related to the wear and tear caused by renting out your property.
It’s very important to discuss your repair/renovation plans with a financial consultant who specialises in investment property tax issues, as not all repairs, maintenance or renovations can be claimed.
Parting words of advice
The ATO is cracking down on a whole range of expenses claimed by property investors, so the most important thing to remember is to keep good, accurate records – that way you will be covered.