Do I need to declare rental income?

When you lodge your tax return, you need to let the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) know how much rent and rental-related income you received over the financial year.

Rental-related income can include:

  • Rental bond returns (e.g. if your tenant defaulted on rent or caused damage to your property)
  • Insurance payouts (e.g. when you receive a payment to compensate for damage to your property)
  • Letting and booking fees you received
  • Any amount a tenant pays you to cover the cost of repairs

You can find out more about rental income you must declare at the ATO website.

What rental expenses can I claim?

You can claim tax deductions for several expenses while your property is rented or available for rent.

These may include:

  • Management costs (e.g. property agent fees and commission)
  • Land tax
  • Body corporate fees and charges
  • Maintenance costs (e.g. cleaning, gardening, pest control, repairs and maintenance)
  • Property loan interest expenses
  • Insurance (e.g. building, contents and public liability)
  • Some legal expenses
  • Depreciation

What rental expenses can’t I claim?

You can’t claim tax deductions on:

  • Expenses someone else has paid (e.g. electricity bills paid by your tenant)
  • Property purchase costs (e.g. stamp duty)

You can find out more about rental expenses you can claim at the ATO website.

Things you should know

  • It’s important to remember that tax laws are complex, and you should ensure that you’ve confirmed you can claim an expense before including it in your tax return. Reliable sources of information include the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), your accountant or financial planner. 
  • The Australian income year ends on 30 June. You have from 1 July to 31 October to lodge your tax return for the previous income year. If you use a registered tax agent to prepare and lodge your tax return, you may be able to lodge later than 31 October.
  • Tax law is subject to change. For the latest information, check the ATO website or with your accountant or financial advisor.
  • The information provided is of a general nature and doesn’t take into account your personal financial situation – we suggest you seek independent taxation and financial advice.
  • This page is intended to provide general information only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.
  • Commonwealth Bank is also not a registered tax (financial) adviser under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under a taxation law.