It’s impossible for an investment property to thrive without the professional help of experienced construction industry workers. As a busy investor, it’s assumed that you can’t put your hundred percent attention to your project. With this, you have to be thoughtful with the people and company you hire, especially the ones who’ll be responsible for calculating the construction costs on your behalf – the quantity surveyors.
Who are Quantity Surveyors?
Quantity Surveyors (QS) are construction industry professionals with advanced knowledge and experience on construction costs and contracts. They are all-around workers whose roles include office work, meetings with clients and other project personnel, and construction site immersion.
As its name implies, quantity surveyors look at quantities. They study the quantities of various materials and estimate the construction costs of a building, whether it’s a yet to be constructed or an already constructed one. They can calculate the value of the assets as well, including appliances, furniture, floor coverings, etc. Quantity surveyors are also responsible for determining depreciation for both building and assets. They are qualified to issue a tax depreciation schedule or a document that will tell property investors how much depreciation they can claim for the succeeding years.
A quantity surveyor is sought by a property investor who has a set of plans for the property and needs to obtain a tax depreciation schedule. The QS inspects the site and estimates the construction costs. The QS will then submit the figures to generate the depreciation schedule.
7 Traits Of An Ideal Quantity Surveyor
When it comes to hiring someone who’ll handle the complex details of your investment property, you should never settle for second best. Below are some of the best characteristics of an ideal quantity surveyor.
1. A QS who is a registered tax agent
In Australia, all professionals doing depreciation schedules have to be registered as tax agents after the Tax Agent Services regime came into effect on 2010. It is also crucial to ensure if your depreciation provider is a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), the industry body for quantity surveyors. With this, you are assured that you’re provided with top quality work in line with the rules of the taxation office.
2. A QS who physically inspects your property
Some quantity surveying companies take short cuts by getting untrained people to carry out inspections and gather information, which is sent to an actual QS for costing. Though they usually produce cheaper schedules, they aren’t worth the risk. Without actually visiting the property, several plant and equipment assets within the property are likely to be missed in the final report.
It’s best if you get your property physically inspected by an actual quantity surveyor who will then work out the costs. You’ll be provided with better answers if the QS who’ll work the costs is the same person who inspected the property. Another thing is, You shouldn’t have to provide plans if the inspection is done by the QS.
3. A QS with a mastery of tax work, including tax season hustle
Once the tax season is in full swing, you might find a lot of quantity surveyors getting their hands on tax works. But since these aren’t their primary expertise, they may not be updated with the current rules. Also, things can get quite busy for quantity surveying companies during tax season. So it’s best to ensure if your QS could handle tax work well.
4. A QS who provides a complete depreciation schedule
Not all schedules are the same – some schedules are far more complete than others. You might think of skimping and settling for a few one-pagers that give only the first year’s depreciation or choosing documents that have only provided one method of depreciation. However, having less complete depreciation schedule which costs a few dollars less could eventually cost you far more in the long run.
5. A QS who can answer all your queries about depreciation schedule
Not everyone has a clear picture of what depreciation schedule is and how it works. This is where experienced quantity surveyors come in. If it’s your first time to see a depreciation schedule, your QS should be able to provide a brief procedure on how to read it, explain the value ascribed to certain items, and answer all your queries in a customer-friendly language.
6. A QS who ensures your depreciation schedule is accountant-friendly
A depreciation schedule that gives extra work and headache for your accountant can mean bigger cost for you. Find a QS that provides schedules that contain information your accountant exactly needs, like the construction cost during the period of the construction as well as the written-down value of all plant and equipment assets using both prime cost and diminishing value methods of depreciation.
7. A QS who doesn’t charge extra for updates
Spending more money on your rental property is inevitable – you might want to replace some appliances or fixtures. With this, the depreciation schedule changes as well. If it’s only a couple of items or smaller renovations, some great quantity surveying companies agree to do it free of charge and get the depreciation revised the next day.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a savvy writer for Depreciator, an Australian-based business specializing in Tax Depreciation Schedules. Being an enthusiast of pursuing financial security herself, she writes and shares self-help articles focused on personal finance, tax planning, and property investing.
May 17, 2017