Top up your tax return

As an investor, you may have recently come to terms with depreciation and may have been unaware that you were entitled to claim deductions on your rental property. You may have thought your property was too old when it actually qualifies for depreciation – act now before it’s too late!

Besides the ATO allowing you to claim tax depreciation on your investment property year by year, you are also allowed to backdate your missed deductions. If you have held an investment property for a prolonged period but have not claimed depreciation yet, you are entitled to backdate this and amend previous years of lodgement for up to a two-year period.

Individuals and small businesses generally have a two-year period or four-year-period respectively, which is from the day you are given a notice of assessment for the year. Depending on your circumstances, the ATO may allow you to backdate further. This is at the discretion of the ATO and we ask that you clarify with your accountant in regard to this.

The ruling from the ATO explicitly states “You have two years from the day the notice of assessment is given by the Commissioner to lodge a within time amendment request. If the time limit has passed, you can’t request an amendment, but you may be able to lodge an objection. While the time limit for lodging amendments and objections is the same, you can request an extension of time to lodge an objection in some circumstances.”  Further information about amending a tax return can be viewed by clicking here.

Furthermore, the ATO does allow tax payers to go even further back (more than two years) by raising anObjection, however the request to adjust your tax return using this method is at the discretion of the Australian Tax Office. More relevant information can be found here.

The following scenario below is a depiction of how effective back claiming is.

Devin purchases a 4-bedroom house on August 5th 2016 as an investment property. He has held this property as an investment since purchase and had no knowledge about the tax benefits that the ATO provides.

In 2019, Devin’s accountant has only recently advised to him that he is able to claim the building depreciation as a tax deduction per annum. In light of this, Devin wishes to backdate the claims to ensure he captures all the deductions available to him.

By consulting Duo Tax, we surveyed the property and found the following deductions below.


Instead of potentially missing these deductions, Devin was able to amend his previous tax returns through his accountant. With the additional tax deductions of $23,000 through the 2-year period, he was able to receive additional cash back on his previous lodgements.

As we are currently in the midst of approaching the end of the 2019 Financial Year, reports can be backdated to the end of the 2017 Financial Year if requested. Don’t let your deductions go to waste, contact Duo Tax Quantity Surveyors now to receive money back in your pocket.

Written by Tuan Duong, DuoTax Quantity Surveyors –  Ph 02 8999 11 33.



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