How to: Check your depreciation entitlements

Like a brand new car, new apartments and contents depreciate in value almost immediately but many investors are not aware of the depreciation benefits they are entitled to claim.

The Australian Tax Office enables investors to cover part of the purchase price by allowing them to claim depreciation on certain items like fittings and fixtures at the end of every financial year.

Although there is no percentage that fits all off the plan purchasers, Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik says up to 60% of the built cost of a new apartment can be tax-deductible over time.

Purchasers of off the plan apartments can take the contract of sale to a quantity surveyor to have a depreciation schedule put together, as the contract will detail inclusions such as price, size of the unit and size of the building.

A tax depreciation company can also inspect a property to determine the current value of every item and will then calculate how much value each of those items will lose every year for up to 40 years.

However, Multifocus Properties and Finance chief executive officer Philippe Brach says to get a definite schedule that an accountant can use, the property must be settled as the settlement acts as the starting date for the depreciation entitlement.

The depreciation report is submitted at the end of every financial year and is allowed to be back dated by up to two years.

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