While tax depreciation schedules have been a staple of a property investing for years, split reporting between co-owners has been enjoying new-found fame, according to quantity surveyors BMT.
“Split reporting generates more deductions because rather than just come up with a depreciation figure and splitting it in two, it actually splits the value of the asset first and then apply the tax rules,” BMT chief executive Bradley Beer told Nest Egg.
“It means lower value items get to be claimed quicker, which means more cash flow early for the investor in their property which is when it is most vital,” he added.
Where one owner is currently able to claim immediately on assets valued at $300 or below, split owners can do so for assets of up to $600, before writing off their stake in the asset.
The same rule applies to low-value pooling, enabling co-owners with a 50-50 split to include assets of less than $2,000 (instead of $1,000 for single owners) to their pool. Low-pool assets can then be claimed at an 18.75 per cent rate in the first year and 37.5 per cent afterwards.
The result is that split reporting is becoming less obscure due to growing investor awareness, although some inertia still exists.
“The number of split reports is increasing, but sometimes it is the accountant that doesn’t understand it or doesn’t necessarily want to do it, but their job is to help you get the maximum deduction [out of] the things you’re doing and help you do your tax and claim everything correctly,” Mr Beer said.
“They should work with you on it because it means slightly better deductions for people in the early years when it’s hardest because of costs and low rents.”
Given the burgeoning Australian property market, co-ownership could be an attractive option to get a foot on the property investment ladder, Mr Beer said.
“For people who don’t have the equity, doing it together with the right partner means you still have the ability to make money.”