When to hire a Quantity Surveyor

Let’s Talk About Construction Budgets
15 January, 2021
Dilapidation Reports: The Complete Guide
15 May, 2021

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 claim tax depreciation on your property

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 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 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. To prepare the report quantity surveyors will need to:

  • 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.