ATO puts spotlight on property investors

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has warned property investors it will pay close attention to their reported income and deductions this tax time, with official data showing that about 90% of investors get their tax returns wrong.
 
ATO assistant commissioner Rob Thomson said general repairs and maintenance on your rental property can be claimed as an immediate deduction – but expenses that are capital in nature (like immediate repairs on a property you just bought or improvements some time after purchase) are not deductible as repairs or maintenance.
 
“We often see landlords making mistakes when it comes to repairs and maintenance deductions on rental properties, so we’re keeping a close eye on this. This year, we’re particularly focused on claims that may have been inflated to offset increases in rental income to get a greater tax benefit,” he said.
 
“You can claim an immediate deduction for general repairs like replacing damaged carpet or a broken window. But if you rip out an old kitchen and put in a new and improved one, this is a capital improvement and is only deductible over time as capital works.”