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You can generally claim an immediate deduction against your current year’s income for your expenses related to the management and maintenance of the property, including interest on loans.

If your property is negatively geared, you may be able to deduct the full amount of rental expenses against your rental and other income, such as salary and wages and business income.

Expenses you claim this year

You can claim a deduction for these expenses only if you actually incur them and they are not paid by the tenant.

Expenses you may be entitled to claim an immediate deduction for in the income year you incur them include:

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Interest expenses

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If you take out a loan to purchase a rental property, you can claim a deduction for the interest charged on the loan or a portion of the interest. However, the property must be rented out or genuinely available for rent in the income year you claim a deduction.

What you can claim

You can claim the interest charged on the loan you used to:

You can also claim interest you have pre-paid up to 12 months in advance.

What you can’t claim

You can’t claim a deduction for interest expenses you incur:

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Thin capitalisation

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If you are an Australian resident and you (or any associate entities) have certain international dealings, overseas interests, or if you are a foreign resident, the thin capitalisation rules may apply if your debt deductions, such as interest (combined with those of your associate entities) for 2019–20 are more than $2 million.
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Pre-paid expenses

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Pre-paid expenses are those that provide for services extending beyond the current income year, such as payment of an insurance premium on 1 January that provides cover for the entire calendar year.

You can generally claim an immediate deduction in the current income year for:

A prepayment that doesn’t meet these criteria may have to be spread over two or more years.
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Repairs and maintenance

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You may be able to claim a full deduction for the cost of repairs and maintenance in the year that you incur them if:

What you can claim immediately

Repairs

Repairs means working to make good or remedy defects in, damage to or deterioration of the property. Generally, repairs must relate directly to wear and tear or other damage that occurred as a result of renting out the property.

Examples of repairs include:

Maintenance

Maintenance means work to prevent deterioration or fix existing deterioration. Maintenance generally involves keeping your property in a tenantable condition.

Examples of maintenance include:

What you can claim over several years

Repairs and maintenance unrelated to wear and tear or damage

You can’t claim the total costs of repairs and maintenance in the year you paid them if they did not relate directly to wear and tear or other damage occurring due to renting out your property. These are capital expenses you may be able to claim over a number of years as capital works deductions or deductions for decline in value.

Improvements

You can’t claim a deduction for the total cost of improvements to your rental property in the year you incur them.

An improvement is anything that makes an aspect of the property better, more valuable, more desirable or changes the character of the item on which works are being carried out.

Capital improvements (such as remodelling a bathroom or adding a pergola) should be claimed as capital works deductions.

Improvement means work that:

Improvements can be either capital works where it is a structural improvement or capital allowances where the item is a depreciating asset.
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Legal expenses

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What you can claim

You can claim the cost of the following as income tax deductions:

What you can’t claim

You can’t claim the cost of the following as income tax deductions:

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Disclaimer: This is general information only and is subject to change at any time. Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product. The Content provided herein has been prepared for informational purposes only. The Content does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek tax, legal or accounting advice before acting or relying on any Content.

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