With the end of the financial year just around the corner property managers and investors need to consider a wide variety of factors when preparing for taxation.
Most investors are likely to agree: the calibre of a property manager is often measured by their record keeping and reporting standards; at least this is true at the end of the financial year. The standard of record keeping and reporting can make or break a tax return. If the records aren’t up to scratch, then providing appropriate and correct information to the tax office can be very difficult.
Quality record management is something that needs to be ongoing; so if you find that it is not up to scratch this year, make sure the bar is reset and your portfolio is being managed appropriately in the new financial year. Record keeping for the end of financial year can be broken down into three distinct areas: income, expenses and depreciation.
Income related to the investment property is probably the simplest area to keep track because there is generally only one revenue stream for each property: rental income. A good property manager will provide a concise summary of rental payments received over the last financial year. Investors should ensure all rental payments have been accounted for and that rental income amounts correspond with bank statements.
Expenses can be somewhat more complex, as it involves a (very) wide variety of items. The list detailed within provides a solid overview of the normal expense items that should be included as part of an investment property claim. It is important to ensure all of the claimable expenses are included as part of the end of year assessment on the property in order to obtain the greatest tax benefit possible.
Depreciation refers to normal ‘wear and tear’ to the asset, capital works and other depreciable items such as fixtures, fittings and appliances. The depreciation schedule is one of the most important documents relating to an investment property. For investors it is best practice to engage a quantity surveyor before the property is leased, in order to have a complete and accurate depreciation schedule in place. If you are seeking to claim depreciation on improvements or construction work, but don’t have receipts, you will need a valuation report on the property.
Source of this article and checklist: RP Data