In a statement, BMT said it believes this data indicates that property investors could maximise their depreciation claims by using a specialist quantity surveyor and seeking the advice of an accountant, rather than choosing to DIY their depreciation claims.
Bradley Beer, chief executive officer at BMT, says that the difference between claims made by their clients and the average depreciation claim lodged with the ATO is due to the extensive training and experience that quantity surveyors have in estimating building costs and knowledge of how items depreciate over time.
“There may be a misconception in the market that suggests claiming depreciation for items by yourself or using a self-assessed schedule will save you money," he said.
“However, the data suggests if investors choose a quantity surveyor who specialises in depreciation, completes a site inspection and provides a comprehensive schedule, they will be rewarded with increased tax savings.
“Investors who make their own depreciation claims could be missing items and assets that can be legitimately claimed. This is likely costing them thousands of dollars per year in tax savings.
“There are probably tens of millions of dollars in unclaimed depreciation deductions from properties around Australia if these figures are anything to go by,” said Mr Beer.
The recent data released by the ATO shows that Australian property investors claimed an average of $3,292 in depreciation deductions in the 2012-13 income year. By comparison, BMT Tax Depreciation clients had a much higher average claim of $9,076 – a difference of $5,784.