If you have an investment property, here are some tips to help you prepare at tax time.


In Australia, investing in real estate isn’t the preserve of a wealthy elite.

The nation’s 2.24 million property investors, owning a collective 3.25 million homes1, are everyday Australians – skilled tradies, small business owners, professionals.

If you’re a property investor, being tax-smart can be just as important as buying the right place – regardless of whether you lodge your tax return yourself or with an agent.

So it’s important you keep records right from the start, you’re across what you need to declare and you know what you can claim at tax time – particularly in the current climate of high interest rates, when every dollar counts.

What you need to declare

When you lodge your tax return, you need to let the ATO know how much rental income you received over the financial year.

  • If you own the property in your name, you’ll need to declare your income on your individual tax return.
  • If you own the property in the name of a company or trust, then rental income forms part of the company or trust tax return.
  • If you own the property with another person, then you must declare rental income and claim expenses according to your legal ownership. As joint tenants your legal interest will be an equal split, and as tenants in common you may have different ownership interests.

You may also need to declare:

  • rental bond returns if your tenant defaulted on rent or caused any damage
  • insurance payouts to compensate you for damage
  • letting and booking fees you received
  • tenant payments to cover repairs.

More information about what rental income must be declared is available at the ATO website.

What you may be able to claim

  • Mortgage interest
  • Management costs, including property agent fees and commission
  • Maintenance costs, including cleaning, gardening, pest control and repairs
  • Insurance – landlords, mortgage, building, contents and public liability
  • Body corporate fees and charges
  • Land tax
  • Depreciation
  • Building costs, including extensions, alterations and structural improvements as capital works deductions
  • Loan establishment fees
  • Title search fees
  • Costs of preparing and filing mortgage documents
  • Some legal expenses.

You can’t claim for conveyancing fees or stamp duty. But if you sell your property, you can use these costs to help work out if you need to pay capital gains tax.

You can find out more about rental expenses you can claim  at the ATO website.

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1 How many Australians own an investment property Property update.com.au

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