How to choose a quantity surveyor – that’s right for you
Buying and settling on an investment property is a lengthy process, and for good reason. It ensures that procedures are followed and regulations are met before you are fully committed financially. And let’s face it, you’re spending a serious amount of money on something that you ultimately expect to make money on, so proper due diligence is paramount.
But what about the process you go through to purchase your tax depreciation schedule? While the cost may be a fraction of what you paid for your property, failure to obtain a thorough report is likely to cost you thousands in lost tax deductions every year.
Follow these steps to ensure you’re maximising every possible cent and avoiding unnecessary interest from the tax office.
You need a Quantity Surveyor not an Accountant
As we have said, if your residential property was built after 1985 your accountant is not allowed to estimate the construction costs. Neither is a real estate agent, property manager or valuer. While
accountants can offer advice around other aspects of tax depreciation, construction costs and property depreciation are highly technical domains in their own right. You need a quantity surveyor to give you a report estimating these construction costs and make sure your depreciation provider is a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS). (You can verify this by searching for the firm at www.aiqs.com.au.)
Remember, also, that your quantity surveyor must be a Registered Tax Agent.
Use an experienced Quantity Surveyor
You just paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a property. Do you really want to save a couple of hundred tax-deductible dollars on your only tax break that can be open to interpretation and skill? Talk to your quantity surveyor about the degree of expertise they have in depreciation. How long they have been producing reports and how often do they do so? Laws have changed frequently over the years and each building is unique, so it pays to get expert advice.
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