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Why choose Washington Brown?

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TAXMAX500 logo We can guarantee maximum depreciation every time. Our digitally powered quality assurance process - the TAXMAX500™ - evaluates every property across over 500 variables, and is constantly updated as ATO policies change to guarantee you maximum returns.

Having worked across 22 countries on five continents (and growing), we understand the complexities of global systems to ensure maximum returns on your overseas investments within the Australian taxation system. With our extensive international network and experience, Washington Brown is the number one choice for Australians with investment properties overseas.

We pride ourselves on being the Property Depreciation experts as the only multi award-winning Quantity Surveyor in Australia with recent accolades including the Your Investment Property magazine Tax and Depreciation Services winner 2019/2020. As experts, we are also trusted to provide the estimates for industry leaders like RP Data/Core Logic, Commonwealth Bank, Meriton Apartments, Finbar International and Knight Frank.

Our unique 'Return on Investment Screening' process asks the crucial questions up front to ensure we deliver a minimum of twice our fee in deductions within the first 12 months after settlement, or there is no charge. If the deductions are likely to be lower than twice our fee, we can provide an estimate for you, and you can decide if it's worthwhile for your situation. In addition, our depreciation schedules offer a 40 year forecast, compared with as little as five from some competitors.

Our Unbeatable Guarantees

14 Day Turnaround

Once the inspection is complete and all
required information received, we promise you
a depreciation report on your Australian Residential
property within 14 working days or we’ll reduce the fee by 50%.

Upside only

We guarantee twice our fee in deductions within
the first 12 months after settlement, or there is
no charge. In other words
you double your money or you pay nothing.

Client Testimonials

Customer Testimonial: Property Investor


"You don’t just get one done when you buy brand new…and every time I do some improvements to a property I get a new one done. It’s been fantastic from a tax perspective"

Customer Testimonial: $10,000 refund


"My property is about 10 years old and [I received a depreciation] of around $10,000… they are really efficient, it was just seamless."

Customer Testimonial: Off the Plan


"I had one brand new property off the plan and received around $12K …and the second one i had was an old property but i got roughly 6-7K for my first year"

Customer Testimonial: Real Estate Buyer


"I got two or three quotes… [but then I went with Washington Brown] …The whole transaction was smooth and I received a lot of follow up"


Some of our clients

Commonwealth Bank
RP Data
John Holland

Quantity Surveyor / Depreciation Schedule

If you’re wondering why you need a quantity surveyor or depreciation schedule, the answer is relatively simple — because you want to reduce your taxable income and save money. According to the guide to depreciating assets published by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in 2018: … each person works out their deduction for decline in value based on their interest in the asset and according to their use of the asset.

However, the process can become a bit more complicated once we include the legal ownership, joint ownership, or the right of the holder of a depreciating asset.

Free Depreciation Quote

Furthermore, besides the legal ownership, there are additional factors to consider, such as lease payments, instalment sale agreements, lessee of a depreciating asset and more. When you add the deductions for the decline in value of most depreciating assets according to UCA rules (before and after 1 July 2001), the procedure becomes challenging if you’re not a tax agent.

Hence, each depreciation report is different and depends on individual circumstances. Hiring an expert with the legal knowledge and technical experience, as well as abiding by tax laws and ATO guidelines, seems like a prudent choice.

Therefore, the next logical step would be to work with a quantity surveyor on your depreciation schedule. In fact, our quantity surveyors will examine the depreciation rates for all your assets and determine if you are entitled to a write-off rate, which is prescribed for some other purpose, such as the small business incentive.

Why do you need a Quantity Surveyor?

According to the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), a quantity surveyor needs to hold a university degree in the field of quantity surveying or construction management. Therefore, they need to obtain a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. That makes quantity surveyors uniquely qualified for assessing assets and preparing depreciation schedules.

Moreover, besides saving money and providing accurate data, a quantity surveyor is more often than not very cost-effective. The highly systematic and logical approach towards depreciation assets makes quantity surveyors necessary for tax and investment purposes.

What is a Depreciation Schedule?

In simple terms, a depreciation schedule is a document that contains relevant information about the depreciation you can claim on your rental property against your taxable income. Once a quantity surveyor does the schedule, your accountant can request a reduction, according to ATO guidelines.

Quantity Surveyor I Depreciation report I Investments

You can use a quantity surveyor and a depreciation report for more than just taxes. In fact, depreciation reports are gaining popularity as tools for cost-reduction and smarter investing. For example, a tax allowance in Australia is one of the main incentives for buying investment properties, and as far as allowances go, depreciation is one of the best. It’s what makes investing affordable.

Investors abide according to ATO’s definition of a depreciating asset: …an asset with a limited effective life. They can reasonably be expected to decline in value over the time it is used. Depreciating assets include computers, electric tools, furniture and motor vehicles.

Essentially, for property investors, that means they can include most, if not all, equipment and furniture inside the units. Everything is seen as a depreciating asset, from stoves to carpets to the trash bins, by a quantity surveyor who wants to save you money. Moreover, ATO explains “the effective life” of depreciating assets in great detail (type and duration) in the Taxation Ruling TR 2018/4, Income tax: effective life of depreciating assets (applicable from 1 July 2018).

There are two main methods for you to claim depreciation benefits:

  • Prime cost method – an equal tax deduction each year over the item’s effective life
  • Diminishing value method – higher claims in the first years of the item’s effective life and smaller claims later on

Most investors choose the diminishing value method, but once your accountant goes over the depreciation report, they will advise you on the best strategy.

Hence, it’s always a smart decision to engage a quantity surveyor with extensive and in-depth knowledge of assessing the value of construction work.

Why should you choose Washington Brown to prepare your tax depreciation schedule?

Washington Brown was established in 1978, making it one of Australia’s oldest and most respected quantity surveying firms. Moreover, considering the lengthy experience and the quality of work we bring to our customers, we are able to save our clients tens of millions in deductions each year. That’s not surprising at all, given that we prepare over 13,500 reports annually, each done by the highest standards of the profession and according to ATO guidelines.

The Australian Tax Practitioners Board fully endorses Washington Brown as registered tax agents. Furthermore, we’re also members of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors.

However, given our references, this is what you can expect from a Washington Brown depreciation schedule/report:

  • Full property inspection where necessary and specific settlement date calculations on the plant and its equipment
  • Past renovations, post-acquisition improvements and furniture packages are all included in the report
  • Up to 40 years of validity

If you want to hire Washington Brown experts for the preparation of your depreciation report, we recommend you browse through the following pages:

The accurate information provides you with context and understanding. Therefore, we designed this free calculating tool that can help you acquire the appropriate figures:

Working with a quantity surveyor on a depreciation schedule is one of the most prudent business decisions you can make. In fact, because of the reduction of your taxable income, you’ll have room for allocating resources in other business areas. Moreover, once you have the accurate numbers, you can invest smarter and use data to make the right assessments.

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