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Investment Property Acquisition CGT Tax Expert Matthew Mousa of TLK Partners Kingsgrove Sydney
Calculating the Cost Base for CGT Deductions for Investment Properties
There is generally great excitement when a rental income property is bought. The new owners have all kinds of plans, and sweet dreams about the extra income it’s going to earn. However, somewhere down the line the property will be sold, and the seller will be confronted by what the tax man euphemistically calls a “Capital Gains Tax event”.
If it sounds pretty intimidating, don’t worry, as it’s fairly simple as property tax and acquisitions expert, Matthew Mousa of TLK Partners explains. “The profit or loss realised from the sale of a property is the “event”, and could be subject to Capital Gains Tax or CGT as it is referred to. Although CGT is a whole different ballgame, capital works deductions made now can affect the calculations needed for CGT when the property is sold.”
Deducting the deductions
When calculating a Capital Gains Tax profit or loss after the sale of a property, the cost base or reduced cost base is the starting point for calculations. The final, or adjusted, cost base used must exclude any deductions already claimed, or could have been claimed, for capital expenditure.
There are two conditions attached to this exclusion:
- The property was acquired after May 13, 1997.
- The property was acquired before May 13, 1997, but the money was spent, which gave rise to a capital works deduction after June 30, 1999.
How does this work in practice?
“Let’s say that you bought a rental property in 1998 for $200 000, and you sold the property in 2017,” Matthew explains. “The cost base in 2017 is calculated at $210 250. However, during the time you owned the property you claimed $10 000 in capital works deductions. You will have to deduct the $10 000 you claimed, to arrive at a new cost base for calculating your Capital Gains Tax. Your new cost base would therefore be $200 250.”
Limited recourse debt arrangements
If any part of the capital expenditure on capital works deductions was financed by a limited recourse debt, which includes certain hire purchase or instalment sale agreements, excessive deductions for capital allowances has to be included as part of assessable income. But this only applies if the debt was terminated, or wasn’t paid in full.
Anyone unsure of what constitutes a terminated recourse debt arrangement, and its implications for assessable income, should consult a tax consultant for clarification on CGT, and any other tax implications of investment property, as it could have far-reaching effects on tax obligations.
“Many property investors have been caught out and surprised about CGT triggered by a sale of an asset because they failed to understand CGT fundamentals,” Matthew concludes.
TLK Partners Wealth Management Companies Kingsgrove, Beverly Hills | Tax Accountant & Agent | Property Adviser are wealth and taxation advisers serving enterprises and private individuals who hope to take care of their future through sound financial management. Visit their website or contact them at (02) 8090 4324 for an appointment to discuss your financial management and investment needs.
This material is of a general nature only, it does not take into consideration your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. Before making any decision based on this content, you should assess your own circumstances, seek professional advice or contact our office to be directed to the appropriate professional. Whilst all care has been taken in presenting the material neither TLK Partners or its associated entities guarantee that the material is free of error and, the information may have changed since being published.
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The information contained in this article is based on the authors opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.
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