Frequently we are asked the question, why should I get a Quantity Surveyor to assist me with assessing depreciation on my investment property when it seems like a matter that an accountant can figure out?

A quantity surveyor is a tertiary qualified professional that is degree qualified in the Science of Construction. This person as part of their education has completed sufficient credits to specialise in Quantity Surveying. It is this formal training that helps transform this person into what can be considered as a Building Economist.

What is a Quantity Surveyor Report?

A quantity surveyor report is a report used by investors to assess wear and tear to claim tax depreciation for their investment property.

A quantity surveyor report is also commonly called a tax depreciation schedule or depreciation schedule/report. These reports are only able to be prepared by a qualified quantity surveyor. The report outlines the annual deductions available to an investor to calculate the depreciation of their investment property.

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

Quantity surveyors are ATO-qualified professionals who specialise in estimating the value of building and construction costs.

To become a quantity surveyor in Australia, you must be accredited by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), which is the peak professional standards body that oversees all quantity surveyors. As Quantity Surveyors, we can make estimations on costs throughout all stages of a building’s constructions.

The construction cost is indexed in accordance with the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. Different rates are applied depending on the type, quality of finish and year it is built.

Why can’t my accountant prepare my depreciation schedule?

Quantity Surveyors are considered economists of the building sector.

As accountants are unable to determine the cost of construction, it is then left up to the quantity surveyor to provide these estimates of cost. Naturally then, they are in the best position and are trusted to provide reports.

These reports are accepted by Quantity Surveyors whom are Registered Tax Agents with the Tax Practitioner’s Board.

As an example, a square metre of concrete slab may cost $100 in today’s market. A quantity surveyor would derive the square metre depreciation rate based on an understanding of costs that includes excavation of the area, provision of sand underlay, termite protection and concretor fees to finish the concrete.

The difference in the quality of a Quantity Surveyor is in the detail that they go through to get it tack sharp to claim as much of a deduction as legally possible – something that Duo Tax exceeds in. Our knowledge is extended across the country using the most up to date sources to reflect the variances in rates for the cost of supply and even labour.

Registered Tax Agents. Are they all the same?

Accountants are Registered Tax Agents and have the duty of providing general tax advice. Quantity Surveyors who are also Registered Tax Agents, will have conditions to their registration. They are limited to giving advice on the cost of construction and assets, and the depreciable value associated.

What else can a Quantity Surveyor help me depreciate?

Assets such as microwaves, air-conditioners and other appliances are also depreciable by a Quantity Surveyor (Division 40).

The other major benefit of a Quantity Surveyor is for older or second-hand assets. What’s tricky is determining the underlying value of an old asset that most likely wouldn’t have a receipt. Or in other cases, a building contract that doesn’t determine the cost of the new asset. That’s where a Quantity Surveyor will be qualified to estimate the value of the asset based on professional judgement.

Why Duo Tax?

It is this expert and detailed knowledge of building costs that allows Duo Tax Quantity Surveyors to work in conjunction with your accountant to achieve the best possible outcome to not only look at how much you can claim, but how soon you can claim it. After all, cash-flow is vital in the earliest stages in any rental property.

Do you have an investment property that you would like one of our expert quantity surveyors to view and assess? Call us today on 1300 DUO TAX and we guarantee our service will bring value or else our time and effort is free-of-charge.

Portrait of Tuan Duong

Tuan Duong is an award winning Quantity Surveyor and leads Duo Tax Quantity Surveyors – Australia’s fastest growing provider of Tax Depreciation. Reach out to him directly on 0431 154 356 or email tuan@duotax.com.au