When to hire a Quantity Surveyor?

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In the fallowing article we will explain the role of quantity surveyors and when you might need to hire one.

When do you need to hire a quantity surveyor?

There are two major scenarios that may arise, which will require you to hire the services of a quantity surveyor. They are:

  1. When you require a Council Cost Report
  2. When you need to claim residential or commercial property tax depreciation on your property.

Moreover, a Quantity Surveyor (QS) is vital for complex construction projects, guiding through intricacies, managing budgets, and ensuring accurate cost estimates. Whether dealing with multiple stakeholders, intricate designs, or specialized expertise needs, a QS provides expert oversight, financial planning, and objective evaluations. Hiring a QS, regardless of project size, guarantees informed decisions and project success.

Council Cost Reports

Developers are required to submit Cost Reports when they plan on building a residential, commercial or industrial structure. A council cost report is filled out and submitted together with the Development Application (DA) and Construction Certificate (CC). Once the cost of a certain construction project reaches and surpasses a certain value, councils demand a professionally made Cost Report. This is also known as a Section 94 report and represents the contribution that an investor must pay to their local council based on the value of their project.

Tax Depreciation

If you have recently invested in a property, chances are that you will like to enjoy the benefits of tax saving by depreciation. To become eligible to claim tax depreciation, you will need a tax depreciation schedule, also known as a tax depreciation report. This is when a quantity surveyor should step in.

According to the ATO TAX Ruling 97/25, if the investment property you have acquired, was built after 1985 and the construction costs are unknown, a qualified quantity surveyor should compose a tax depreciation schedule. A quantity surveyor is a highly skilled and competent professional – an expert in the field of construction economics.

What this is means that your accountant is not qualified enough to issue such a document. Only a quantity surveyor can provide the precise figures, so you can base your tax return upon them.

Once the tax depreciation report is prepared, you will be qualified to benefit from the tax deductions.

What is a role of a quantity surveyor?

Prior to compiling and submitting your tax depreciation schedule, you will need to invite a quantity surveyor to do the inspection of your property or site. Some of the roles of a quantity surveyor include:

  • Come out and complete the thorough site inspection of the property
  • Document all the depreciable objects in the property by measuring, photograph and write down all the items
  • Figure out the construction costs of the building (only for buildings completed after July 1985)
  • Work out the equipment, machinery, furnishings as well as furniture. These also include doors, windows, blinds, appliances, etc.

After collecting and gathering all fundamental information about the site, quantity surveyors will prepare a comprehensive report that will project the breakdown of all the building allowance, equipment and plant items costs. The report will include the rates at which you can depreciate them and the timespan of the depreciation.

Once your report is completed you can simply hand it out to your accountant and use your tax returns to star saving your money.

Note that, as an investor you will want the tax depreciation schedule to contain the most detailed, accurate and up-to-date information. When created this way your report will most likely meet ATO criteria, but also maximise your deductions. This is why, as an investor, you should always hire a reputable, reliable and experienced quantity surveyor.

What are the necessary qualifications for a quantity surveyor?

First of all, a quantity surveyor needs to be accredited by the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS). Furthermore, a quantity surveyor needs to be a registered tax agent. This ruling was implemented in 2010, to guarantee that your depreciation schedule is compiled by a competent and qualified tax expert and will stand up to inspection of the ATO analysis.

What are the benefits of hiring a quantity surveyor?

Hiring a QS can bring numerous benefits to your construction project, including:

  • Accurate cost estimation and cost control,
  • Better budget management and project planning,
  • Valuable assistance in procurement management,
  • Professional help in reviewing and managing contracts with suppliers and contractors,
  • Mitigation of project risks and risk management,
  • Expert advice on dispute resolution.

What is the cost of hiring a quantity surveyor?

Quantity surveyors are typically contracted at a defined percentage of the total contract cost, ranging from 0.5% to 2%, although this can vary significantly.

As for hourly rates, the average rate for quantity surveyors is approximately $61 per hour, but it may differ, often being higher, for self-employed quantity surveyors.

When it comes to QS reports, self-assessment reports for residential properties begin at around $200-$350 plus GST. In contrast, full QS reports can cost anywhere from $400-$700 plus GST.

Do you need a quantity surveyor? Get in touch

Are you looking for a reliable registered quantity surveyor with relevant industry experience? Look no further – we’re here to assist you! Whether you need a detailed assessment for your residential property or a comprehensive QS report for your construction project, our skilled team, with over 20 years of industry experience, is ready to help. Send us an enquiry today.

Angelo Antidormi
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