Rental Properties – Getting the Best Tax Outcome in 2024

Rental Properties

Getting the Best Tax Outcome in 2024

 

To get the best tax outcome from your rental property, we recommend paying any upcoming expenses before 30 June. 

Any deductible expense that is paid prior to 30 June can be claimed in this financial year.  If you pay the same expense after 30 June, it can’t be claimed as a deduction until next financial year.

With the individual tax rates decreasing after 30 June 2024, you will get an even bigger advantage in paying your rental property expenses prior to 30 June (as a deduction is worth more in the 2024 year than the 2025 year).  For example, a $5,000 expense will get you a $125 greater tax deduction in 2024 than in 2025:

2024 year deduction

$5,000 repairs

Paid before 30 June
Individual earning $120,000

Repair total (deduction) = $5,000
Tax refund (2024 return) = $1,625
Net out of pocket = $3,375

2025 year deduction

$5,000 repairs

Paid before 30 June
Individual earning $120,000

Repair total (deduction) = $5,000
Tax refund (2025 return) = $1,500
Net out of pocket = $3,500

Rental expenses

For rental properties, examples of some of the deductible expenses you might be able to pay before 30 June include:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Cleaning
  • Gardening
  • Pest control
  • Smoke alarm review and maintenance
  • Servicing costs – eg. air conditioner, pool

Have a chat with your property manager to see if there are any expenses that can be paid prior to 30 June.

Depreciation

We also recommend getting a depreciation schedule for your property.  Contact a qualified quantity surveyor to prepare a depreciation schedule for your property (for example – BMT Tax Quantity Surveyors or Deppro).  The cost of the report can be claimed as a deduction and the report will also provide you with the details of the depreciation you can claim in your tax return.

What should you do now?

  1. Talk to your property manager about any expenses that you can pay for your property prior to 30 June;
  2. Book in any relevant services now to ensure that they are completed and paid prior to 30 June (keep a valid tax invoice for all services that you want to claim as a tax deduction);
  3. Contact a quantity surveyor to get a depreciation report for your property;
  4. Start compiling records for the expenses already paid for your property during this financial year.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.

Self-Education Expenses – TR 2024/3

Self-Education Expenses 

New Tax Ruling – TR 2024/3

On 21 February 2024, the ATO finalised the ruling for Self-Education Expenses (TR 2024/3).  The ruling sets out the principles on the deductibility of self-education expenses under the Income Tax Assessment Act and provides 38 examples.

When are self-education expenses deductible?

Self-education expenses are deductible to the extent they:

  • Are incurred in gaining or producing your assessable income; AND
  • Are not:
    • Capital, private or domestic in nature
    • Incurred in gaining or producing exempt income
    • Prevented from being deductible by a specific provision in the tax law.

If you are reimbursed for the self-education expenses, you cannot claim a personal deduction.

Gaining or producing assessable income

You need to be able to show one (or both) of the following apply:

  • Your income-earning activities are based on the exercise of a skill or specific knowledge, and the self-education enables you to maintain or improve that skill;
  • The self-education is likely to lead to an increase in income from your current income-earning activities.

They will not be deductible if you have incurred them to obtain new employment or open up a new income-earning activity.

Types of self-education expenses

Some of the self-education expenses that may be deductible include:

  • Course fees but not if you have a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) (including where you have used a FEE-HELP loan or personal loan to fund the fees)
  • Interest on monies borrowed to fund the self-education expenses
  • Books, digital subscriptions, stationery
  • Travel (including airfares, accommodation and meals)
  • Depreciation of equipment

Action to take

If you are personally paying for any self-education costs that are related to your current employment, please ensure you keep all details and invoices of the costs incurred.  We can review these at tax time to determine whether they are deductible in your individual tax return.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.

Small Business Technology Investment Boost

Small Business Technology Investment Boost

Legislation was passed on 23 June 2023 to enable small businesses to claim an additional 20% deduction for eligible technology expenditure.

What is the boost?

Small businesses (who have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) will be able to claim an additional 20% deduction for expenses incurred to support their digital operations.

The boost is available for expenditure incurred between 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2023 and is capped at $100,000 per income year.  The maximum bonus deduction is $20,000 per income year.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the additional deduction, you must meet the following conditions:

  1. You have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million for the income year in which you incur the expenditure;
  2. The expenditure is “eligible expenditure” (see below);
  3. The expenditure is deductible for your business under Australian tax law;
  4. The expenditure has been incurred between 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2023.

Eligible expenditure

Eligible expenditure may include (but is not limited to):

  • digital enabling items;
  • digital media and marketing;
  • e-commerce;
  • cyber security.

At the end of this article we have included a table of example expenditure that may be eligible for the boost.

What cannot be claimed?

You cannot claim the following expenses towards the boost:

  • Salary and wages
  • Capital works costs
  • Financing costs
  • Training or education costs (but these may be eligible for the Small Business Skills and Training Boost)
  • Expenses that form part of your trading stock.

Cap on the deduction

There is an annual cap of $100,000 on eligible expenditure (with the bonus deduction capped at $20,000).

When do you claim the deduction

For any expenditure incurred between 30 March 2022 and 30 June 2022, you claim 100% of the deduction in the 2022 tax return and the 20% bonus in the 2023 tax return.

For any expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, you claim both the 100% deduction and the 20% bonus in the 2023 tax return.

What do you need to do?

To check your eligibility for the boost, we recommend you take the following steps:

1. Review your technology expenditure from 29 March 2022 to 30 June 2023;

2. Identify any expenditure that has been incurred to help digitise your business;

3. If you use online accounting software, attach a copy of the invoice to the transaction in your software;

4. Provide us (your accountant) with the details of all relevant costs incurred that meet the eligibility criteria.

Provided we have the relevant documentation to prove eligibility to the boost, we will claim the additional 20% deduction in your tax return.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information about the boost.

Examples of Possible Eligible Expenditure

Category

Example expenditure

Digital enabling items

Computer and telecommunications hardware

  • Desktop and laptop computers
  • Digital tablets
  • Computer keyboards
  • Webcams
  • Computer mouse, trackpads, stylus
  • Computer cables
  • Powerpacks
  • Electrical and power adapters
  • Repairs and improvement costs to computer hardware and equipment

Digital enabling items

Telecommunications hardware and equipment

  • Landline phones
  • Mobile phones
  • Smart watches
  • Telephone accessories
  • Repair and maintenance costs

Digital enabling items

Software

  • Initial purchase
  • Annual subscriptions (eg. accounting software subscriptions, Office 365, anti-virus, ServiceM8)

Digital enabling items

Internet

  • Usage costs
  • Connection costs
  • Repair costs

Digital enabling items

Computer systems

  • Subscriptions to support digital capabilities
  • Help desk support fees and charges
  • IT support charges
  • Repairs and improvement costs

Digital media and marketing

  • Audio and visual content creation
  • Web page design
  • Web page update costs
  • Search engine optimisation fees
  • Email marketing fees
  • Photo stock fees
  • Music royalty fees

E-Commerce

  • E-commerce website setup
  • E-commerce website optimisation
  • Setup of social media store functionality
  • Costs associated with setting up online methods of payment
  • Photography costs for online display
  • Photostock fees
  • Portable payment devices
  • Digital inventory management
  • Subscription to cloud-based services
  • Advice on digital operations

Cyber Security

  • Cyber security consultant fees
  • Cyber security software (eg. anti-virus)
  • Cyber security installation and implementation costs
  • Cyber security backup management
  • Cyber security monitoring services

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.

Small Business Skills and Training Boost

Small Business Skills and Training Boost

Legislation was passed on 23 June 2023 to enable small businesses to claim an additional 20% deduction for expenditure on staff training.

What is the boost?

Small businesses (who have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million) will receive an additional 20% deduction for expenditure on external training courses delivered to employees by registered training providers.

The additional deduction will apply to expenditure incurred between 29 March 2022 to 30 June 2024.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the additional deduction, you must meet the following conditions:

  1. You have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million for the income year in which you incur the expenditure;
  2. The training is provided to employees of your business (the boost does not apply to training provided to sole traders, partners in a partnership or independent contractors);
  3. The training is provided either in-person in Australia or online;
  4. The training is provided by a registered training organisation that is not you or an associate of yours – you can check here for registered providers: https://training.gov.au/
  5. The expenditure is deductible for your business under Australian tax law;
  6. The expenditure has been incurred between 29 March 2022 and 30 June 2024.

Expenses you can claim

The boost applies to expenditure on training and also incidental costs (for example: books or equipment).

When do you claim the deduction

For any expenditure incurred between 30 March 2022 and 30 June 2022, you claim 100% of the deduction in the 2022 tax return and the 20% bonus in the 2023 tax return.

For any expenditure incurred between 1 July 2022 and 30 June 2023, you claim both the 100% deduction and the 20% bonus in the 2023 tax return.

For any expenditure incurred between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2024, you claim both the 100% deduction and the 20% bonus in the 2024 tax return.

What do you need to do?

To check your eligibility for the boost, we recommend you take the following steps:

1. Review your training expenditure from 29 March 2022 to 30 June 2023;

2. Identify any expenditure that has been provided by a registered training provider (refer: https://training.gov.au/)

3. If you use online accounting software, attach a copy of the invoice to the transaction in your software.

4. Provide us (your accountant) with the details of all relevant training costs incurred that meet the eligibility criteria.

Provided we have the relevant documentation to prove eligibility to the boost, we will claim the additional 20% deduction in your tax return.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information about the boost.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.

Working from Home – Tax Deductions

Working from Home – Tax Deductions

On 16 February 2023, the ATO released Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2023/1 outlining the requirements that need to be met in order to claim a deduction for working from home.  There are some changes with regards to the amount that can be claimed and the records that you need to keep.  These changes will apply to deductions claimed for the 2022-23 financial year onwards.

What do you need to know?

From 1 July 2022, the Revised Fixed-Rate Method allows you to claim a deduction of $0.67 per hour for the time you have worked from home (this will not cover depreciation, which can be claimed separately).

If you want to claim a deduction for working from home anytime after 1 July 2022, you will need the following:

  1. A record of the hours you have worked from home:
    • Between 1 July 2022 and 28 February 2023, you will need a record that is a representation of the total hours worked from home.
    • From 1 March 2023, you will need an exact record of the number of hours you worked from home – eg. timesheet, roster, diary, time-tracking app records.
  2. Evidence of the additional costs you have incurred as a result of working from home (eg. electricity bills, telephone bills, internet bills).
  3. Invoices for any office furniture or plant and equipment purchased.
  4. A 4 week diary showing the personal and income-producing use of any office furniture or plant and equipment purchased.

We will be requesting the above information when preparing your 2023 tax return.  Without this information, we will not be able to claim a deduction for working from home.

PCG 2023/1 in Detail

2022 Financial Year and Earlier

If you are claiming a deduction for working from home prior to 1 July 2022, you can choose to use one of the following methods:

  • The Temporary Shortcut Method – available from 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2022 (a flat rate of $0.80 per hour during COVID to cover electricity, internet, mobile and home phone, stationery and computer consumables, depreciation of home office furniture and equipment, cleaning)
  • The Fixed-Rate method – available from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 2022 (a flat rate of $0.52 per hour to cover electricity, depreciation of office furniture, cleaning)
  • The Actual Expenses Method – this is a claim for the actual expenses incurred as a result of working from home.

From 1 July 2022

From 1 July 2022, you can claim a deduction for working from home using either of the following methods:

  • Revised Fixed-Rate Method – available from 1 July 2022 (a flat rate of $0.67 per hour to cover electricity, internet, mobile and home phone, stationery and computer consumables)
  • Actual Expenses Method – as noted above, this is a claim for the actual expenses incurred as a result of working from home.

Revised Fixed-Rate Method

To claim a deduction using the Revised Fixed-Rate Method, you need to satisfy three criteria:

  1. You must be working from home (minimal tasks such as checking emails and taking some calls at home will not qualify)
  2. You must incur additional running costs (you must incur the costs and not be reimbursed these from your employer)
  3. You must keep and retain the relevant records.

Record of Hours Worked

For the 2023-24 and later income years, you must keep a record for the entire year of the number of hours that you worked from home.  An estimate is not acceptable.

A record of your hours can be kept in any form.  For example, it may be one of the following:

  • Timesheets
  • Rosters
  • Logs of time spent accessing employer systems or online business systems
  • Time-tracking apps
  • A diary

For the 2022-23 income year, you only need to keep a record which is representative of the total hours worked from 1 July 2022 to 28 February 2022 and then a record of the actual hours worked from 1 March 2023 to 30 June 2023.

Documents for Costs

For electricity, mobile and home phone and internet expenses, you must keep one monthly or quarterly bill as evidence of the additional running expenses you have incurred.  For stationery and computer consumables, you must keep a receipt for the item purchased. 

If you do not keep a record of the total hours you worked from home and evidence of the running costs incurred, you cannot use the revised fixed-rate method for claiming a deduction for working from home during the 2023 (and later) financial years.

Depreciation

The revised fixed rate method covers your costs for electricity, internet, mobile and home telephone and stationery and computer consumables.  This means you cannot claim a separate deduction for these items.  It does not cover depreciation for home office furniture or equipment (for which you can claim a separate deduction).

To claim a deduction for depreciation of your home office furniture or equipment, you must keep a purchase invoice which shows:

  • the name or business name of the supplier;
  • the cost of the asset to you;
  • the nature of the asset;
  • the day you acquired it; and
  • the day the record was made out.

You must also keep records which demonstrate your work-related use of the asset.  This can be evidenced by a 4-week period showing the personal use and income-producing use of the asset.

Home Office Occupancy Costs (rent, mortgage interest, rates, land tax)

 We note that the above only relates to deductions for home office running costs.  It does not provide guidelines for home office occupancy costs (like rent, mortgage interest, property insurance and land tax).   More information is provided here in relation to home occupancy costs.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is general in nature and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, neither TJN Accountants nor any member or employee of TJN Accountants accepts any responsibility for any loss, however caused, as a result of reliance on this general information. We recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. The article is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our consent.