Property has always been a favoured vehicle when it comes to investment and the potential tax benefits associated. Consequently, a considerable number of commercial and residential properties across Australia are owned by corporations and individuals who are in it for the long haul, in this regard. In order to take advantage of the benefit at tax year-end, however, it's important for each property to be correctly valued so that the itemised entries on the tax return are accepted by the ATO. What do you need to know about calculating these figures correctly, so that you don't run into trouble?
Bringing in the Surveyor
A quantity surveyor is best placed to help you determine whether you are accounting for the right type of depreciation on your properties. They will take into account the value, condition and age of the building when you first introduce it to your portfolio and will then adjust its capital value each year by a certain number of percentage points. Remember that the quantity surveyor is not just somebody who calculates your costs during a construction project, but is also somebody who is very familiar with capital depreciation strategies.
License and Registration, Please
You have to be careful when you choose an expert to help you, as the quantity surveyor has to be registered and licensed with the authorities before the ATO will accept their findings. They will need to inspect the property first hand and come up with a schedule. They will also need to attach all of their calculations and evidence, to show the condition and detail of the property and its contents.
How the Survey Is Done
In order to do this, the surveyor will take a number of pictures and measurements, starting with the shell of the property, its condition and material make-up. Each internal fixture and fitting has to be logged next, all the way from the floor coverings to the lighting fixtures and each individual appliance. When all of this data has been tabulated, an initial value is placed next to each item.
Bringing in the Accountant
Next, the quantity surveyor will work with your accountant to determine how to apply depreciation on all of these items and specifically to determine how much tax can be saved each year through this process.
You should note that an on-site inspection by the quantity surveyor is only required when you bring the property into your portfolio at the outset. Then, the data will only need to be modified if you introduce new fixtures and fittings, or structural modifications are made to the property.
Making It a Reality
Have a word with a quantity surveyor to help you account for your tax savings properly.