MAKING YOUR RESIDENCE AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY

There is an increasing number of Australian home owners becoming property investors – in some scenarios, it is by turning their primary place of residence into an income producing investment property. Before renting your own home, there a number of factors associated. Investors should contact a specialist Quantity Surveyor such as BMT Tax Depreciation and request a tax depreciation schedule that will maximise the cash returns for the owner once the property starts generating an income.

Changing tax situation: when an owner decides to turn their primary place of residence into an income producing property, their tax situation is transformed. Expenses in holding the property such as interest costs, rates and management fees will become tax deductible making owning the property more affordable. The rent also becomes assessable income, and another tax deduction available for the owner while the property is income producing is depreciation. Depreciation deductions can be claimed in two ways once the property begins to earn an income – as a capital works deduction or the structural component of the building, and for the plant and equipment assets contained in the property. The ATO allows income producing property owners to claim this depreciation as a deduction when they complete their annual tax assessment.

A BMT Depreciation Schedule will also include any capital improvements that have been made to a property, even if improvements were completed while the property was a primary place of residence.

Common misconceptions: property owners often think that it is not worth getting a depreciation schedule completed on an older property. While it is true that newer properties may receive higher deductions due to several contributing factors, all investment properties will earn deductions for the property owner to claim including depreciation on the structural component. Property owners should note that the capital works deductions are governed by the dates the construction commenced. If a residential building commenced construction before the 15th of September 1987, the owners are unable to claim any deductions on the structure. Investors who own properties that are built before this date will still be able to make a claim on the fixtures and fittings within the property and include any recent renovations, even if the renovation was carried out by a previous owner. 

Capital gains implications: a primary place of residence is exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT), however when a home becomes an investment property some CGT may be triggered if the property is eventually sold. There are numerous scenarios which will reduce or create a total CGT exemption. It is important to discuss this with an Accountant as each individual scenario is different depending on the property’s first use, how long someone lived in the property, how long it is income producing and if the owner has purchased another primary place of residence.

If you have made your home an investment property or you are thinking of making the change, contact your local BMT Tax Depreciation office on 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au