Tax treatment on holding costs incurred prior to and during construction of a rental property



Tax Treatment of Holding Costs During Construction of a Rental Property

For those building or substantially renovating a rental property, understanding when you can deduct holding costs like interest, rates, land tax, and maintenance is crucial. From the 2020 income year, such costs will generally not be deductible until specific conditions are met, unless exceptions apply, such as conducting a business. Here's how it works for different types of rental properties:

1. Residential Rental Properties

For residential properties undergoing construction or substantial renovation, you cannot deduct holding costs until all of the following are true:

  • Construction is complete.
  • The property has received occupancy approval.
  • The property is rented out, available for rent, or otherwise set to generate income, as detailed in S.26-102(4).

2. Commercial Rental Properties

The rules for commercial properties are slightly different. Deductions for holding costs on these properties are paused until the property is considered "in use or available for use," as per S.26-102(1). This does not require the property to be occupied or rented but simply ready and capable of being used, which generally aligns with the issuance of an occupancy certificate.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is still clarifying when exactly commercial rental properties can be deemed "in use or available for use." Their ongoing guidance is expected to further outline these conditions, helping taxpayers understand when they can start claiming these deductions.


For both residential and commercial rental properties, the deductibility of holding costs during construction hinges on specific milestones that mark the property as ready for income-producing use. Property owners need to be aware of these rules to plan their finances and tax obligations effectively.


Should you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to                            Tax Ideas Accountants & Advisers at +61 2 83181545 or book an appointment through our live calendar.



Tags: Estate Tax

Written by Ideas Group

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