"Even if the item costs over $1,000 – but your portion is only, say $200, you can claim the item in full immediately, as your portion is under the $300 threshold."
Even if you have just bought a property, you can still claim depreciation this year
It wasn’t that long ago that many investors thought it was just new property that depreciated. But that’s changed, and most now understand that even an old property will have some sort of claim.
However, the depreciation benefits of property purchased close to June 30th are much less understood. And on the surface that’s fair enough. Let’s say, you’ve settled on a property on the 1st of June, what would be the point of paying for a schedule for just 30 days of depreciation – wait until next year, right?
Wrong. In the first financial year of ownership, it is not uncommon for an investor to claim thousands of dollars in deductions for a property purchased close to June 30.
For instance, a Sydney client of ours settled on a one-bedroom Chatswood unit on June 25th last year. The property was built in 1999 and the purchase price was $450,000. Yet, the deduction, which was for 5 days only remember, was over $5,000.
What’s the catch, I hear you say. Well, there isn’t one. The ability to make such a significant deduction for just a short period of time is due to the immediate write-off and low pooling of items that are classified as plant and equipment.
Neither of these amounts should be pro-rated, so you can maximise these items whether the property has been owned for one day or 365 days. And the property age is nothing to worry about either, as all properties are eligible for plant and equipment.
So, for any plant and equipment in the property valued under $300 you have an immediate write-off and for those items under $1,000, they are low-pooled and claimed at 18.75% in the first year.
Here’s another example from a client of ours that bought small unit in Melbourne’s inner city. They paid close to $300,000, the building was just over ten years old and they settled on the 15th of June. The first-year depreciation claim, for 15 days only, was a deduction of $6,000.
The items that can fall into these key categories are things like exhaust fans, ceiling fans, range hood, stoves, smoke alarms, etc. – items that most investment properties are going to have. So, the deductions soon add up.
And even if the item costs over $1,000 – but your portion is only, say $200, you can claim the item in full immediately, as your portion is under the $300 threshold.
In short, it pays to get that a schedule as soon as you settle, even if that’s at the end of the financial year. And let’s face it, who wants to be filling in the adjustment form if you wait 12 months.
Tyron Hyde is a director of quantity surveying firm Washington Brown. He has a degree in construction economics and is an associate of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.