A lot of owners are interstate or overseas and need to travel if they would like to view their investment property. Below is a list of of questions that investors often ask:
How often should I travel?
There is no limit as to how often you should conduct inspections of your property. Just make sure that when you do, it has to be a full and complete inspection and not just have a quick look and drive off. There are restrictions with the legislation that limit the time frame and frequency of inspections so this would be something to bear in mind.
You can get a letter from your property manager or tenant to confirm the inspection.
Apart from an inspection, here are also some good reasons that you can claim travel for:
- Making the necessary preparations for the new tenants
- Routine maintenance and repairs in relation to fair wear and tear
- For general maintenance
- Meet up with your manager to discuss matters concerning the property
For how long should I travel?
This one’s always been subject to disputes. Technically, the only expenses that you can claim are those relevant to the days you actually spent doing inspection and maintenance/repair work.
So let’s say, for example, the duration of your stay was 5 days but it only took you one day to carry out the inspection, it is likely that the ATO will grant you claim for the expenses related to the day of the inspection only.
Included in the claim are the travel expenses to and from your destination, as well as parking costs. However, should your stay require a few days to finish the tasks you have intended to do, you must prepare an itinerary report for each day in relation to the property.
Here are the types of claims you can get and their corresponding written evidence:
- Airfares – Receipts
- Car Hire – Receipts
- Fuel for Car – Receipts
- Motor/Vehicle related transactions when using own car – Diary of Kilometers
- Other travel purchases – Receipts
If you are travelling for a week or more, it is best to keep a detailed travel diary, indicating the nature of all of your activities including the dates, time and places. If you have queries in relation to what you can and can’t claim on your investment property, it is always best to speak to your accountant.