What expenses can I claim when selling an investment property?
Selling an investment property in Australia involves several financial considerations. One important aspect to understand is the expenses that you can claim for tax deductions.
By identifying and properly claiming these deductible expenses, property owners can maximise their financial outcomes and lead to substantial savings. In this article, we will explore the deductible expenses associated with selling an investment property so you can be a smarter investor when it comes to property.
Selling expenses to claim when selling an investment property
Advertising and marketing costs
Advertising costs incurred when selling a property are generally considered eligible deductible expenses in Australia.
When selling a property, various advertising and marketing activities are typically undertaken to attract potential buyers. This may include costs for online listings, newspaper advertisements, professional photography, signage, and other promotional materials.
It's important to keep detailed records and retain receipts or invoices for the advertising costs incurred. This documentation is necessary to support the deduction claim and should clearly outline the nature of the expenses and their relation to the property sale.
Conveyancing and legal fees
Conveyancing and solicitor fees incurred during the process of selling a property are associated with the legal aspects of the sale transaction and can be claimed as deductible expenses.
Conveyancing fees typically cover services provided by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to facilitate the transfer of property ownership. These services include preparing legal documents, conducting title searches, arranging settlement, and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Solicitor fees may also be incurred for legal advice or assistance related to the property sale, contract review, negotiation, or any other legal matters pertaining to the transaction.
An appraisal fee is the cost paid to have a professional appraiser or solicitor assess and determine the market value of the property. This appraisal is often necessary to determine the appropriate sale price and ensure a fair transaction.
The appraisal fee can vary depending on the complexity and location of the property. It covers the expertise and time invested by the appraiser to conduct a thorough assessment of the property's value.
As an expense directly related to the sale transaction, the appraisal fee is considered a deductible expense.
Maintenance and repair fees
Maintenance and repair fees incurred to preserve the condition of a property are generally eligible for immediate deductions in Australia.
According to criteria provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), these expenses can be claimed as deductible if they are strictly for the purpose of restoring or maintaining the property's existing condition.
Immediate deductions can be claimed for expenses related to repairs and maintenance that are necessary to keep the property in a functional state. This includes costs associated with fixing plumbing issues, electrical repairs, repainting, replacing broken fixtures, or repairing damaged structures.
However, it's important to note that substantial improvements or renovations are not eligible for immediate deductions. If the work done on the property goes beyond repair and maintenance and constitutes substantial improvements or renovations, it may be classified as capital improvements and subject to different tax treatment.
Additional expenses to claim when selling an investment property
Mortgage discharge fees
Loan discharge fees refer to the charges associated with releasing or discharging a mortgage or loan on the property.
When selling an investment property, if there is an outstanding mortgage or loan on the property that needs to be settled, the loan discharge fees incurred in the process can be claimed as deductible expenses. These fees are considered part of the costs directly related to the sale of the investment property.
Bookkeeping costs incurred when selling an investment property are generally considered eligible deductible expenses.
These costs refer to the fees paid to a professional bookkeeper or accountant for managing the financial records and transactions associated with the sale.
When selling an investment property, there are various financial aspects to consider, such as tracking income, expenses, and capital gains. Engaging a bookkeeper or accountant to assist with maintaining accurate financial records and preparing necessary documentation can ensure compliance and smooth financial management throughout the sale process.
Pest control expenses
If a pest control expense is incurred by a landlord for general maintenance or upkeep of the property, it can be claimed as an immediate deduction in the year it was paid. This applies to both residential and commercial properties.
However, If the expense is not considered a necessary expense for the proper maintenance of the property, it may not be eligible for immediate deduction and may be subject to scrutiny by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
Capital gains tax (CGT) when selling an investment property
While capital gains tax (CGT) is not directly deductible when selling a property, it can have significant implications for your tax liability.
If you've owned the investment property for more than 12 months, you may be eligible for a 50% CGT discount, reducing the taxable portion of the profit.
However, if you sell your investment property within 12 months of purchase, 100% of your capital gain is subject to tax.
Capital losses when selling an investment property
Capital losses incurred from the sale of a property can be used to offset capital gains and potentially reduce the overall tax liability.
When a property is sold at a loss, the capital loss can be used to offset any capital gains made in the same financial year or carried forward to offset future capital gains.
If the capital losses exceed the capital gains, the excess loss can be used to reduce other taxable income in the financial year. This is known as a capital loss deduction.
For example, say you sell an investment property and incur a capital loss of $20,000. In the same financial year, you also sell another investment property and make a capital gain of $30,000.
In this scenario, the capital loss of $20,000 would reduce the taxable portion of the capital gain from $30,000 to $10,000. As a result, you would only need to include $10,000 as taxable income as a capital gain.
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