June 30th is almost here and property investors looking for a hand maximizing their refund cheque from Mr Swan might like to take a look at the ATO’s rental property info paper. It’s easy to leave the claims to your accountant but most of this info is easy to follow and one fresh idea might save you some serious dollars.
Many of us get embarrassed admitting we don’t know some of these rules. We say it’s better to ask than make an expensive mistake! Some errors we’ve seen clients make in past years: using the date of settlement of a sale when calculating CGT (it’s usually the date of the contract) or claiming travel expenses where the main purpose of the trip was a holiday (driving past the house on the way to the Port Douglas golf course mightn’t be enough!)
The ever-tricky one seems to be mistaking an improvement for a repair. There’s a ruling on the ATO website that’s worth a read if you love that kind of thing! It says works may go further than being a deductible repair if it “changes the character of the property or does more than restore the efficiency of function”.
And, as always, please talk to an accountant and don’t look to your real estate agent for tax advice!