Quantity Surveyor Report

Quantity Surveyor Report - Full Physical Inspection - Cost $495* (Incl. GST)

* Residential Metro Cities - small surcharge on regional - quotes on commercial

You can order a Quantity Surveyor (QS) Report on our system to claim depreciation in your income tax return for your investment property (residential or commercial) anywhere in Australia. Our tax depreciation specialists will visit your property for a full physical inspection so that you can claim the maximum deduction and email you the report within 10 working days.

Claiming depreciation expenses against rental income on an investment property increases its value by giving investors greater return on their investment. Depreciation expenses combined with additional holding costs such as repairs, strata, rates and gearing (interest on a mortgage), can help investors reduce net rental income, pay less income tax and improve cash flow.

Why Physical Inspection gives a better result?

There are two types of deduction available to any property investor.

  • Capital works deduction for building
  • Decline in Value of assets of plant (articles and machinery)

Capital works deductions are available to property investors for expenditure on construction of buildings and structural improvements or other depreciating assets which are fixed to, or otherwise part of, a building or structural improvement.

Depreciation: If your investment property has any “Plant” and that plant is a depreciating asset, you may be able to claim a deduction for decline in value. This covers assets associated with your investment property that have a finite lifetime and fall in value over time as a result of age and wear and tear. It includes fittings such as carpets, lighting, appliances (stove, fridge), furniture, security systems, air conditioning units and even garbage bins which are provided as part of the property.

A physical inspection by our experienced tax depreciation specialists will ensure that all depreciable buildings and structural improvements and plant are identified and measured professionally and each item of plant is identified and maximum rate of claim for depreciation can be claimed by you.

Non physical inspection reports are suitable only if all building costs are known – e.g. if you purchase land and engage a builder to build the property for you. In fact, if all costs are known, you do not have to engage a Quantity Surveyor as under the self assessment principle, an investor can calculate depreciation claim by using the working life of an asset provided by the ATO or via estimation.

Some quantity surveyors offer websites drafted quick report service for a low price, these reports have a disclaimer that the quantity surveyor has not physically inspected the property and the report is not accurate. We recommend that you do not use these reports as only a full physical inspection of the investment property to identify plant and measure the building size etc can provide the most accurate report.

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What costs can be claimed?

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The Australian Taxation Office recognises that the value of capital assets gradually reduces over time as they approach the end of their effective life. These assets can be written off as a tax deduction - known as depreciation.

When you build or purchase an already built investment property, it will have walls, roof and other plant. Each item, such as wall and floor tiles, wardrobes, kitchens, insulation batts inside the walls, cloth hoists etc have a different effective useful life. You can claim capital works deduction and decline in value of plant at different rates of depreciation (and by two different methods, written down value or price cost) depending on each items effective life.

Capital works depreciation claim is a particularly complex area and is not easy. Depreciation rates can vary depending on the type of building works and when construction commenced.

The difficult part is to identify everything in your investment property which can be included in your claim and measure the size of the building and estimate the cost at the time of construction as it is not the purchase price of the investment property which is deductible but the cost when it was first installed in the property, including builder margins etc.

The other difficult part is to identify and decide if a particular item is a structural improvement or plant and what rate of depreciation applies to it. Plant includes articles and machinery. Articles are things such as curtains, wall hanging, desk and a bookcase. A structure attached to land, such as a clothes hoist or pergola, would not be considered an article. If an item forms part of the premises, it is not an article. Therefore, items such as false ceiling panels and insulation batts are not articles. Plant also includes items that are machinery, whether or not they form part of the premises.

Given the complexity of property depreciation, ordering a property depreciation report from an experts like us, ensures correct asset rates are used and claims aren't made on items that can't be depreciated. Qualified inspectors, like the professionals used by us, have the expertise and knowledge to know which items are depreciable, the rate at which they can be depreciated and how savings can be made. We keep ourselves up-to-date with all ATO rulings and changes.

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What are capital work deductions?

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Capital works deductions (usually at the rate of 2.5% - 4% per year in the 40 years following construction) are the following expenses you pay for which you can claim an income tax deduction.

  • building construction costs
  • the cost of altering a building, such as extensions, garage, patio, kitchen or bathroom renovations
  • the cost of capital improvements to the surrounding property, such as Gazebo, carport, driveway, retaining wall or fence

You can only claim a deduction for the capital works on residential rental properties you built after 17 July 1985.

To claim correctly, you must have all of the following:

  • the date construction commenced
  • details of the type of construction
  • the date construction was completed
  • details of who carried out the construction work
  • the construction cost when the building was built (not your purchase price of the property as it includes current building cost to build property and current cost of land)
  • details of the period during the year that the property was used for income producing purposes

If you carried out the construction or contracted a builder to do so, you should make sure you keep detailed records of the construction costs.

If you purchased the property already built and do not have a record of the construction costs you will need to obtain this historical information from an appropriately qualified quantity surveyor. Valuers, real estate agents, accountants and solicitors generally have neither the relevant qualifications nor the experience to make such an estimate.

You can also claim a deduction for the cost of QS report in the year you pay it.

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You can claim a higher amount for some low value items

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There are two methods for calculating depreciation on plant and equipment assets associated with your investment property. Both methods are approved and accepted by the ATO, which sets the 'useful' lifetime of assets and prescribed depreciation rates depending on the depreciation method.

1. Prime Cost

This method assumes that the asset experiences even wear and tear over its useful life and accordingly a constant rate is applied. This rate is calculated by dividing 100% by an asset's useful life in years. For example, the prime cost depreciation rate for an asset expected to last four years is 25%. It may also be referred to as straight line depreciation.

2. Diminishing value

This method assumes an asset wears down more in its earlier years of use and accordingly allows for higher depreciation write offs in the beginning, and less depreciation later on during the asset's life. It is calculated by dividing 150% by an asset's useful life in years. For example, the diminishing value depreciation rate for an asset expected to last four years is 37.5%.

Certain depreciating assets of an investment property costing $300 or less can be claimed in the first year itself.

You can allocate low-costing assets and low-value assets relating to your rental property in a low-value pool. A low-cost asset is a depreciating asset whose cost is less than $1,000 (after GST credits or adjustments) in an income year in which you start to use it, or have it installed ready for use.

A low-value asset is a depreciating asset where the deduction for the decline in value can be claimed at a diminishing value rate of 37.5%.

What costs cannot be claimed?

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Some costs that are not included in construction expenditure are:

  • the cost of the land on which the rental property is built
  • expenditure on clearing the land prior to construction
  • earthworks that are permanent, can be economically maintained and are not integral to the installation or construction of a structure
  • expenditure on landscaping

Note: If you claim a capital works deduction, you will need to take this into account when you work out your capital gain or loss at the time of selling your investment property – these deductions are added back to arrive at the cost base of the property. We recommend that you speak to your tax agent on how the cost base of your investment property is calculated

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What you get from our Quantity Surveyor Report?

Below are some of the features of our QS Report.

  • Our QS report commences from the settlement date of the investment property
  • Our depreciation report is valid for the lifetime of the investment. However, it is recommended you update your schedule if capital works are undertaken on the property or assets in the house are replaced
  • Our quantity surveyor report also includes a schedule of depreciable assets (capital allowances) and a separate schedule for plant for the decline in value of depreciable assets and is for the whole of life of the property (usually 40 years)
  • We provide a report which includes your claim via either the prime cost or diminishing value method. Both methods are based on the effective life of the asset
  • Reports are prepared by a specialist depreciation firm: Deppro; - who are tax agents and members of Australian institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), with specialist expertise in preparing depreciation schedules for investment properties
  • Our reports are written in plain English and are easy and simple to read
  • Time is not wasted searching for lost reports, Users (investors and accountants) have online access to their reports on our innovative Document Manager, 24/7 from anywhere in the world
  • Our unique electronic registration technology means we can offer the fastest service possible at a very reasonable price

Some of the benefits of using our system are:

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There is no need to buy a QS Report from traditional providers via fax or mail, you can order your report online with us. Other benefits are.

  • For accountants and advisors, you can access the reports online, instead of second appointments for preparing income tax returns
  • Our fees are only $495 (Incl. GST)! For residential property in a metropolitan area. Our qualified inspectors make regular visits to country areas. To minimize costs to owners and investors, regional visits are coordinated based on the number of requests received for a particular area
  • Commercial Property: We always get our quote approved before we prepare a report for your investment commercial property. By using our system you save time, energy and money for yourself and your clients;
  • You can manage all your legal documents on our smart document retrieval system. All documents are stored on our website for ever, secured by your user name and password, for future downloads

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How it works?

The process to order a QS Report, takes less than 20 minutes

  • After you register with us, you simply log on to your secured area (protected by your user name and password) on our website, QS report can be ordered under Property Tools with answers from you to our online cleverly designed easy questions.
  • All questions come with clues to answers and explanations. At completion of all questions, confirm your answers and pay us by credit card (Amex, Master card or Visa) or by EFT or cheque.
  • As soon as we get your order we log it in our system and let you know when our inspector will visit your investment property – usually within a week of the order – outside metropolitan area can take 10 working days. For commercial property we contact you to get our quote approved by you.
  • Once the property has been inspected, our quantity surveyor will prepare his report and we will email it to you in pdf format – this mostly happens within 10 working days of you placing an order with us – usually 15 working days for areas outside metropolitan cities.
  • We store your QS Report (password protected) on our website for you to download from anywhere in the world 24/7 from our innovative document manager.

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