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Renting out a room can incur CGT

Posted on March 2, 2016 by admin

A large number of Australians who rent out a room in their home, whether it be via Airbnb or another avenue, are unaware that the practice can incur capital gains tax (CGT).

Many assume CGT is not on the cards because profit made from the family home (or ‘primary residence’) is usually tax-free. However, those who earn an income from a portion of the family home may inadvertently create a capital gain for the ATO to grab.

Even though CGT is affected by events throughout a vendor’s ownership period, it is often calculated many years down the track, and unfortunately, many may not remember or be able to locate records for a relatively short time in which they were renting part of the house out.

Some people are aware that renting out a portion of their home may trigger a capital gain event, but still fail to calculate the percentage of the property the calculated gain should be attributed to.

Vendors need to work out the portion of the property that was used for ‘investment’ or ‘income producing’ purposes based on the floor area rented out as a percentage of the total property. This needs to then be apportioned to the period that space was made available to rent throughout the duration of ownership.

For example, a couple who bought their property for $1.5 million back in 2006, sell it for $3 million in 2016. During their ownership, they rented out a bedroom and bathroom for four years and worked out that the rented space is equivalent to 15 per cent of the property.

15 per cent of their capital gain ($1.5 million) is subject to CGT, which comes to $225,000. Their next step is to calculate the proportion of time the part of the property was rented out. Since the area of the property was rented out during four of the ten years of ownership, they need to work out four-tenths of $225,000, which is $90,000.

Since they owned the property for more than a year, the CGT discount of 50 per cent applies, making the assessable net gain $45,000.

How much the actual tax works out to be depends on whose name the property is taxed in. For CGT purposes, and if the property is positively geared from an income tax perspective, it is better to put the property in the lower income earner’s name.

If the property was negatively geared, the couple would need to consider the tax benefit they would sacrifice. Negatively geared properties result in a larger tax deduction if claimed in a higher income earner’s name.

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Avoiding mortgage default

Posted on August 26, 2020 by admin

As individuals struggle with cash flow through the coronavirus, the Australian Bankers Association records that repayments on almost 500,000 mortgages have been deferred for six months. While repayments can be delayed, they cannot be avoided altogether.

Lenders can send you a default notice the day your repayment is overdue. However, they could also wait until your repayment is overdue by 90 or more days. When you receive a default notice, you are given 30 days to repay the amounts you have missed in addition to the regular repayment on your loan. Individuals who are struggling with their home loan repayments can avoid mortgage default by considering the following.

Contact your lender
Lenders are generally willing to work with you through financial hardship. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender to discuss your situation and find out what options are available for you. Lenders are often willing to negotiate short-term variations to repayment schedules that both parties can agree to. However, make sure that you do not agree to unrealistic repayment conditions that cannot be met.

Many Australian banks are offering a six-month deferral on mortgage repayments (including interest) for customers who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. If this is you, contact your bank to see if this is an option.

Apply for a hardship variation
Mortgage holders may be able to change the terms of their loan or temporarily pause or reduce their repayments under a hardship variation. A hardship variation can still be requested after you receive a mortgage default. To apply for one, contact your lender’s “hardship officer” and tell them that you wish to change your loan repayments due to financial hardship. This will usually require you to explain why you are struggling to make payments and to estimate how long your financial problems will continue to determine how much you can afford to repay.

After submitting a hardship variation request, your lender must contact you within 21 days with the outcome of your request. They may ask you for more details regarding your request; in this case, they must contact you again within 21 days from when you provide the additional information.

Consider selling your home
Selling your home is a tough decision, but in some cases this may be the better option if your circumstances are unlikely to improve. If you get to the point where your lender takes possession of your home and sells it, it’s likely that you won’t make as much as if you sold it yourself. When you sell your house on your own terms, chances are you will get a better price and avoid having to pay the legal fees passed on by your lender. Inform your lender if you decide to sell your home; they may ask for proof, such as a copy of the contract with your real estate agent or property advertisements.

Renting out your home until you can afford to make repayments again may also be an option if you are able to live somewhere else during this period.

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