Not sure where to start to educate yourself in the complex, technical, but client rewarding area of property tax depreciation? Start by reading the Tax Depreciation FAX (General) section below…
Tax Depreciation FAQ (General)
Find below commonly asked questions in relation to tax depreciation.
‘Tax Depreciation Schedule’
‘Quantity Surveyor’s Report’ (a colloquial term and incorrectly used, i.e. A Quantity Surveyor’s Report (QS Report) in the Financial Lending industry related to a completed different document).
The aforementioned are all referencing the same thing essentially.
Want to find out specific information regarding BWK tax depreciation services? Enquire here for your tax depreciation quotation requests or review some information below.
What is a Tax Depreciation Schedule?
In simple terms, a Tax Depreciation Schedule is a report that details valid tax claims available for property investors on their investment property (for income-producing properties) relating to:
i. Building / Capital Works
ii. Plant and Equipment Both new and old property can benefit.
A tax depreciation schedule is required to maximise depreciation deductions and allowances for purposes of claims on a tax return.
How much can I claim (write-off taxes) with a Tax Depreciation Schedule?
This can vary significantly with the property investment i.e. size, quality, date of construction, capital works expenditure (e.g. renovations, extensions, refurbishments, fit-outs etc.), installation of plant and equipment, client-supplied furniture etc.
On average, BWK Group is finding upwards of $300,000 in claims on a ‘typical’, medium standard, new 3-bedroom residential property’. higher specification homes and commercial properties often result in much more in total depreciation claims.
He have had our clients report $10,000 annual tax returns as a result from our help.
How much does my tax depreciation schedule report show that I can claim?
A comprehensive Tax Depreciation Schedule report would outline the totals, year-on-year of what the property investor can claim (in regards to their income-producing property/ investment property). This would also be supplemented by an appended individualised items of all deductions and allowances.
The best reports would also include various methods of depreciation that would enable the investor to either claim either more upfront (including, but not limited to, immediate write-off items) or draw out the claims over a longer period.
What types of properties can I depreciate?
In short ‘income-producing properties’. So that would include (but to limited to residential properties, commercial properties, ‘bricks and mortar’ business properties (for both the tenant and landlord).
How long is a Tax Depreciation report valid for?
A particular property may warrant up to 40 years of depreciation (the period from construction). With new works i.e. renovations, refurbishments, improvements this adds additional 40 years for that expenditure. Therefore, there would be overlap and an extension of 40 years (due to the staggered nature of entitlements).
Construction completion dates and plant and equipment type and dates are a factor.
It is always best to make sure your Tax Depreciation Schedule report is current and up to date in order to make sure you are always claiming the maximum amount of tax claims.
Who can benefit from Tax Depreciation Schedules?
Property Investors (residential, commercial, industrial etc.), business owners of ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, leasors, leasees of businesses with own supplied fit-out/plant and equipment including furniture etc.
What items can be depreciated?
Two parts to this answer:
i. Capital Works: buildings (walls, floors etc.), extensions, alterations, structural improvements (referred to as Division 43).
ii. Plant and Equipment: all applicable ‘depreciating assets’ i.e. assets with a ‘limited effective life’ (residential alone has over 200) e.g. blinds, carpets, kitchen appliances etc. (referred to as Division 40).
Is my property too old to depreciate?
Firstly, there are many factors and some important dates to consider, however, it is best to seek advice from an experienced, qualified Quantity Surveyor to undertake the due diligence.
This includes the research of the full property history and associated construction works, additions, improvements and plant and equipment. An experienced quantity surveyor, with building experience, will also be able to quantify and value any renewed, updated and renovated works that have taken place on the older property, throughout its history and account for the changes over the years in the depreciation report.
We invite you to read BWK Group’s, ‘Is my Property Investment too Old to Depreciate‘ article, where we go into a lot of detail and the prevalent misinformation in the general public.
I don’t need a Quantity Surveyor for that, my accountant does that for me?
Please refer to ATO Tax Ruling: 97/25 Cl. 27. “Unless they are otherwise qualified, property valuers, real estate agents, accountants and solicitors generally have neither the relevant qualifications nor experience”, to undertake and provide estimates in the case of Tax Depreciation Schedule work (including Division 43 and Division 40 deductions and allowances).
Can a property valuer or real estate agent do a Tax Depreciation Schedule for me?
As per ATO Tax Ruling: 97/25 Cl. 27. “Unless they are otherwise qualified, property valuers, real estate agents, accountants and solicitors generally have neither the relevant qualifications nor experience”. They can no doubt organise to have it done for you by a Quantity Surveyor (qualified Quantity Surveyor and Registered Tax Agent), but cannot undertake it themselves.
My accountant told me I DON’T need one?
A second opinion costs you nothing, listening to initial advice (that may be incorrect) can cost you dearly… we have many examples of this, BWK Group covers tax depreciation misinformation and consequences in our article here.
In our experience we have witnessed first-hand incorrect information from the following sources; accountants, property managers, property advocates as well as quantity surveying firms).
It is best to ask a Quantity Surveying firm specialising in tax depreciation (and speak to an actual quantity surveyor, not just an administrator or salesperson).
Your financial success is too important to leave to chance and to those that aren’t fully invested in it, with substantial ‘skin-in the game’.
My accountant told me I need one, can you help?
Your accountant is providing sound advice.
A Quantity Surveyor is considered to be the building and construction cost expert in regards to the built environment.
According to the Australian Tax Office, (ATO) Tax Ruling 97/25, ‘they (Quantity Surveyor/s) are appropriately qualified to undertake estimates and costing for Tax Depreciation Schedules.
Furthermore, as a Tax Depreciation Schedule offers ‘tax advice’, the Quantity Surveyor must also be a registered tax agent. Their fee in this regard will also be 100% tax-deductible.
Will I be able to understand the reports (sometimes I get lost in all the facts and figures)?
Most reports will include a summary page of all the figures for each financial year, followed by appended breakdowns for all the individual items that can be claimed (around 200 in residential property).
Some individuals may benefit from having the data expressed visually, via graphs and charts so finding a report expressed in this fashion would assist. BWK Group offers comprehensive reports that include, summaries, charts, graphs and appended specific details of all the items for user-friendliness. We can also send a copy direct to your accountant.
To note; the Australian Tax Office (ATO) requires the input of the year-on-year totals into the individual’s income tax return only, therefore the task would be as simple as transposing the summary figures into the relevant tax return financial year.
I have never had depreciation done (as a property investor) is it too late?
Usually, never too late.
However, some deductions may be forfeited i.e. any period longer than 2 years exists (submission of last 2 income-tax-returns, from the last date of submission), the claims available in those preceding years would most likely be forfeited.
The good news is, all taxpayers can request an amendment in their previous income tax returns up to two previous income tax financial years. The takeaway, make sure you are current and have an updated Tax Depreciation Schedule.
What effect will the 2017 Budget change to plant and equipment have on my property?
Post 7:30 pm 9 May 2017, Budget Night, some property investors may be affected i.e. may not be able to claim some components of their property investment. This change directly impacts plant and equipment claims (enacted by the Treasury Laws Amendment (Housing Tax Integrity) Bill 2017).
There are exceptions that are best discussed on an individual case-by-case basis however we have covered this extensively in BWK Group’s, ‘As a Property Investor When Can I Claim for Plant and Equipment‘, article.
The good news is that property investments purchased and signed for (contract signing) by the property investor prior to 7:30 pm 9 May 2017 and held by the same investor will be grandfathered, that being, no change irrespective of whether the property was a new build or an existing purchase.
What is the price of a Tax Depreciation Schedule / Price is a purchasing factor, how much would a report cost me?
Another way to look at it is how much will it cost me ‘if I don’t take action and utilise the benefits of a tax depreciation schedule’?
BWK Group average tax savings (potential tax returns) of $608.10 for every dollar spent (fee).
In general, properties and tax depreciation schedule reports are not all equal. BWK Group have also redone incorrect tax depreciation schedules for clients and have improved them up to $65,000 in extra tax deductions.
There are both ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ factors (and costs to you) relating to both in regards to Tax Depreciation. These factors would, therefore, need to be explored. See below.
See next section.
i) Regarding properties:
scope and size have an effect as well as properties having leased/rented out furniture etc.
ii) Regarding the price difference in various Tax Depreciation reports:
It should be noted that often cheaper reports neglect certain critical factors, that in our opinion, otherwise greatly affect the outcome of a favourable client’s tax depreciation results.
In short, as a minimum insist that your property is handled with the care and due diligence that an experienced, qualified Quantity Surveyor can provide, including a ‘physical inspection’.
BWK Group offers qualified, quantity surveyor and registered tax agent physical, onsite property inspections for our clients. Unfortunately, there are some firms that outsource many (or worse, ALL) processes and procedures to inexperienced, unqualified persons (that by themselves are not qualified to sign off the report). Getting worse, some firms outsource – everything and place a margin on top.
Save time, money and headaches in the long run and use an experienced quantity surveyor, such as BWK Group to assist.
If a client compromises on a professional undertaking of a Tax Depreciation Schedule report there may be indirect costs associated with that.
Sadly, sometimes, you get what you pay for.
Are you, therefore, willing to compromise on quality and results when a few hundred dollars extra in fees may result in potentially tens of thousands of dollars extra in claims for you (if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some instances)!?
It is therefore prudent to establish what one gets for their investment.
Having an investment property physically inspected would involve inspecting a property that is tenanted, correct?
In most cases tenants are residing in the property when a physical inspection takes place, BWK handles all the coordinating for access to make the process stress-free. The client does not have to worry here.
How often do I need to order/get a Tax Depreciation Schedule?
Depends on the provider. However, in order to claim any deductions or allowances, a ‘current’ Tax Depreciation Schedule is necessary.
Forty-year reports are available. In some situations, the 40 years of depreciation can restart in certain situations.
Additionally, a Tax Depreciation Schedule from time to time also needs to be updated. Properties get updated all the time, due to wear & tear, repair, rejuvenation, updating etc., therefore it is important that all current claims are being claimed. To establish whether your report is current it is wise to ask an expert quantity surveyor, proficient in undertaking the reports.
A second opinion or independent opinion can be of benefit, as not all tax depreciation reports are equal.
Can I claim the Tax Deprecation Schedule service as a tax deduction?
Yes, you can claim the service of receiving a tax depreciation schedule as a tax deduction.
Lastly, what is a Quantity Surveyor?
In short, they are building and construction cost managers and experts in the cost of construction.
Refer to BWK Group’s, ‘What is a Quantity Surveyor (QS) and What Value Does one Offer’, article.
BWK Tax Depreciation service FAQ
What differentiates BWK Group why should we use your service as oppose to others?
Firstly, perhaps our clients are best to answer that, review what our clients say about BWK Group’s services via our Google reviews (here).
Furthermore, BWK Group has extensive construction costing skills from our wealth of experience (from large commercial, big firm, multi-national companies, including many world recognised building landmarks).
We have also been assisting clients nationally and overseas with their entitled tax-write-offs via depreciation, with extensive experience with multiple residential type tax depreciation as well as commercial and boutique property types (including boutique hotels and convents). We also have a proven track record of finding substantial deductions that others have incorrectly dismissed or denied.
Generally, it is always best to ask the firm directly as a Quantity Surveyor’s report/ Tax Depreciation Schedule report doesn’t necessarily mean ‘undertaken and completed by a Quantity Surveyor’, but rather signed-off by one.
What is included ‘as standard’ (in all options)?
- VIP client depreciation schedules completed by a quantity surveyor and registered tax agent
- Once-off fee
- The same report can be used year-on-year (in the client’s income tax returns) over the life of your property (generally 40-year); writing off significant taxes over the same period
- All extra ‘common property deductions’ will be included (at no extra. charge), sometimes adding >$50,000 in extra tax write-offs (if applicable)
- All valid fixed/installed plant and equipment (Division 40)
- All valid capital works/structural items (Division 43)
- Various methods of depreciation, so where applicable, more can be claimed and up front (e.g. immediate asset write at 100%)
- All coordinating of ‘access’ for physical inspection, where applicable
- Sending the report to your accountant, if requested
Options (Silver, Gold and Platinum)?
We often offer a three-tier service option (Silver, Gold and Platinum), depending on the situation, circumstance and location. This service offering increases in both value and service fee (price), but ultimately provides the prospect options to cater for their needs.
All options include our standard inclusions (see above), i.e. ‘What is included as standard’
Differentiation between Services:
- Remote/offsite inspection and survey.
- Plus BWK Group ‘standard inclusions’
- Comprehensive onsite, physical property inspection and survey.
- Plus BWK Group ‘standard inclusions’
- Comprehensive onsite, physical property inspection and survey carried out by our most experienced Quantity Surveyor and Registered Tax Agent with 15+ years of international Tier 1 Building/Construction and international Quantity Surveying consulting experience.
- Plus BWK Group ‘standard inclusions’
- (Available for Victoria properties only)
We pre-select what we believe to be the ‘best value’ option, as default.
Usually, ‘Gold’ for convenience; unless we highly recommend another option due to better value or complexity of the job.
The best option is the one right for you, however, we highly recommend an option with a physical inspection.
Gold or Platinum (with physical inspections) would be the best of the three options.
There is no substitute for being onsite, physically, scanning, documenting and using a laser measure, peering around doors, nooks and crannies to find every possible claimable deductions.
A physical inspection also helps as a quality assurance means to make sure that there has not been omitted informed deductions. Whilst being on site and in particular in older properties, we frequently find many items and clues that helps to identify previous renovations, that can also be claimed as a write-off. Such renovations are usually not provided in the Contract of Sale etc.
In the end, the reports we do are good for the life of the property (usually 40 years), so we suggest you spend the money where it needs to be spent and get the best option that you can afford, after all you spent a considerable amount on the property in the first instance. Do it right…
What happens after I order/pay?
After acceptance and payment, you will receive payment confirmation via the entered email address.
An email, with a link to provide property-specific information (purchase dates, access information etc.), will then be provided in a separate email (to the nominated email address) so we can commence working on your request.
We pride ourselves on efficiency and effectiveness, all whilst making sure our best efforts are made to get the client the best results.
Please be mindful of the three main points detailed below regarding turnaround times.
- Timeliness of receipt of all requested client information
- Inspection turnaround times (Silver, Gold & Platinum)
- Reporting turnaround times.
- Timeliness of receipt of all requested client information:
i.e. upon receipt of all required information from the client (an email upon ordering will be issued with the subject, ‘Next steps re: depreciation booking’ for the client to action/complete), when this information is received by us and verified, we will proceed to Inspecting/Reporting.
- Inspection turnarounds (Silver, Gold & Platinum):
The Silver option has the quickest turnaround times, usually, within 5 business days after receipt of all requested client information, due to no physical inspection requested.
Gold and Platinum turnaround times are a bit longer, as ‘availability of access’ is largely out of our control. It all depends on the tenant/property managers cooperation, granting permission and booking of the next available time to access the property in a timely manner.
3. Reporting turnarounds:
Following ‘full payment’, receipt of all required information (and inspection) and we are confident that we have achieved the best results for our clients by conducted thorough due diligence and quality assurance, clients receive their reports back in a timely manner.
All things being equal…
Quickest turnaround depreciation option: Silver
Note: we complete and issue tax depreciation reports in order of payment from our clients (and receipt of client requested information). We find this is the fairest approach.
Services during any COVID Lockdowns?
We have never stopped offering service at any point in time.
If there is a COVID lockdown in place whereby the property investment is situated, depending on the service chosen, this may affect turn-around times.
However, we always have options.
For quick turnarounds that have no impact brought on by COVID lockdowns, the ‘Silver option’ is the best.
Definitely want it inspected (but the property address is subject to a Lockdown (preventing inspection access)?
No problem, Silver would be a great option in the interim and if you ever want to have it inspected at a later stage, simply just pay the difference between the Silver and upgraded Option (i.e. Gold/Platinum) at that point in time.
That way you will have a great report that you can use immediately irrespective of Lockdowns…
How to get started?
i) Yet to enquire? Click here and provide details via this link. Or via the link at the end of this article.
For the majority of depreciation enquiries, you will receive an instant quotation on screen, following submission.
ii) Have you received a quotation/proposal from us already, or have been directed to our ‘Depreciation Order page’? Revisit what has been previously provided for next steps
Tax Depreciation is an expert field so we hope that the Tax Depreciation FAQ was of benefit and provided some clarity for your situation.
However, feel free to get in touch with Mathew (BWK Group’s Principal/Head QS).
We have many happy clients and are considered as tax depreciation experts by many accountants and clients).
To date, BWK Group has assisted hundreds of tax depreciation clients and found claims accumulating in the hundreds of millions. We are always happy to make it possible for our clients to write off substantial tax, via BWK Group’s tax depreciation service Any further questions.
Request a ‘Tax Depreciation Schedule report’ Quotation:
We will also send you comprehensive information to help you choose the best option for you