It’s coming to that time of year again when you need to begin preparing your tax.

We find our clients, especially first time property investors, do not have a good grasp on what they can claim from their investment property expenses. Each year, there are myriad returns from property investors where they have not been claiming everything they are eligible to. Let us give you a few tips for your 2015 tax!

THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: When you choose your tax agent/accountant ensure they are fully aware of everything you have spent on your investment property so they can make the right claims for your situation.

So what can you claim?

According to the Australian Taxation Office website, you as a landlord can claim a variety of expenses such as:

  • Body corporate charges and fees
  • Gardening and cleaning bills
  • Water charges
  • Pest control
  • Decline in value of depreciating assets
  • Council rates and land tax
  • Borrowing expenses
  • Advertising for new tenants
  • Legal and interest expenses
  • Insurance (building, contents, public liability)
  • Repairs and maintenance, including servicing costs
  • Property manager fees and commissions
  • Travel expenses of any trip taken to inspect or maintain the property, or collect the rent

ANOTHER HOT TIP: These expenses can only be claimed if they are paid for by the landlord, rather than the tenant.

ALSO: Make sure you keep your recipes and other proof of purchase associated with these costs.

What can’t you claim?

  • Acquisition and disposal costs of the property, such as conveyance costs, advertising, agent commission, legal fees and stamp duty on the purchase and sale, and travel expenses.
  • Expenses not incurred by the owner – for example, water and electricity used and paid for by the tenant.
  • And of course, expenses that are not related to the rental of that property cannot be claimed – this may seem obvious, but sometimes the lines between what is a related expense and what isn’t is blurred