Accountants for property developers

Expert finance and accounting advice for property developers

At Liston Newton Advisory, we provide you with clear guidance and support to manage the financial side of your property development.

Liston Newton Advisory
Liston Newton Advisory is rated 4.8 from 32 reviews

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An award-winning Australian accounting firm

SMSF multi service firm of the year awardSMSF customer service firm of the year awardIfa innovator of the year awardIfa holistic adviser of the year award

Specialist accountants for property developers.

At Liston Newton Advisory we know that property development is much more than managing a subdivision. You’re running a property development business, and all the financial and tax requirements that come with that.

So we’ll be right there with you to help as your business grows. We provide expert advice and guidance to ensure you set your property development business up correctly from the start, under the right tax structure. We also manage the ATO side of things, to help you minimise your tax wherever possible, and make sure you stay compliant with your tax obligations.

Property development advice

Optimising your tax structure

Capital Gains Tax advice

GST advice

Due diligence

Ongoing accounting services

Accounting services for property developers

Learn more about your business with our comprehensive guides

At Liston Newton Advisory, we take pride in helping business owners get more out of their hard work. Our downloadable guides can give you an in-depth look at strategies and technologies that will help your business grow.

  • Discover tax strategies and business structures available to you
  • Understand and apply new business management technology
  • Get in touch with us for information tailored to your business

Accountants who understand complex property developments

Wealth of experience

Decades of property experience

We’ve been providing financial advice to property developers for over 40 years, helping you manage your growth and achieve your financial goals.

Leading industry innovation

A proactive approach

We can help property developers before the first contract is even signed, ensuring you start with the flexibility that prepares you for any obstacle ahead.

Full range of services

Dedicated services

We offer a variety of services for property developers that are tailored to the unique needs of your industry. From tax planning, cashflow analysis, CGT planning, and more, we’ve got you covered.

Leading industry innovation

Industry innovation

We’ve seen the industry grow over the years, and we’ve evolved with it. We use the latest software and technology to ensure we make things easier for you and your business.

Our work in property development

A group of first-time developers

An investor group of four individuals approached us for advice on setting up a property development business. They wanted an entity that would provide them the best possible asset protection and tax effectiveness.

This was their first time, so we wanted to ensure they understood what they were getting in to. We provided a 20-page letter of advice, answering all their questions and providing useful, practical information around stamp duty, land tax, GST, revenue, and capital accounting. And, importantly, how they could get paid.

We created a structure that managed all the moving parts of their development business. They now have a company to do the development, a holding company to manage the shares within the trading company, and a discretionary trust each to hold their shares.

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About us

At Liston Newton Advisory, we understand the nuance and challenges facing property developers today. We understand that no two property developments are the same, and each developer has differing business needs.

We’ve got a long history of working in this industry, and we’re here to help you get a simple and coordinated approach to your financial management and planning. Our team can help with all the financial aspects of your property development, from planning your initial structure, to CGT minimisation when it’s time to sell.

Learn about us
Kieran Liston, Director | Consultant

We offer in-person or virtual accounting and financial services

Our business is making sure your business thrives, and we aim to make our financial and business advisory services are as accessible as possible. With several offices dotted across Australia, we’ll happily welcome you in for a coffee and a face-to-face meeting. We can also accommodate remote meetings, should you prefer them. If you’re interested in shaking hands with the team, below are some of our most popular services offered at our NSW, VIC and QLD locations.

Expertise you can trust

We've been doing this for a long time, and we have industry leading qualifications and accreditations to show for it. Learn more from a specialised business accountant.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the best structure for my property development business?

There are two structures you can choose from: a company or a trust. Both have their pros and cons.

A company is the most popular structure. It provides a straightforward business structure that allows external investors to get on board, and also benefits from a tax rate capped at 30%. However, there are limited opportunities for tax concessions, which are particularly important when it comes to capital gains tax.

A trust structure might take the form of a family trust, unit trust, or hybrid trust. Each of these variations allows for greater flexibility in income distribution amongst the beneficiaries, which can enable better tax minimisation. One big drawback of a trust, though, is the increased risk of audit. The ATO has a preference for property developments to be conducted under a company structure, not a trust. So it’s more likely that your business will be audited under a trust structure.

What are the GST considerations my property development business should take into account?

As a business, if your expected turnover is greater than $75,000 within a 12-month period, you’re required to register for GST. As a property developer, this is almost a certainty, so we recommend registering for GST at the outset of your business.

Usually, a transaction involving a residential property is input taxed, and therefore not subject to GST. However, as the type of properties you’re selling are most likely to be new, non-commercial residential premises, your income is subject to GST. On top of this, property developers need to consider other GST issues, which include the margin scheme and GST at settlement.

You can find a more in-depth look into this question in our article here.

Can I get a 50% Capital Gains Tax reduction?

Generally, if you plan to do more than one development you’ll be limited in your ability to claim a 50% CGT reduction. If you're considered a professional property developer, the profits from your development are considered income, rather than capital gains.

Essentially, profit from the sale of your property will be considered revenue if:

  • You went into the transaction with the intent to make a profit
  • If you went into the transaction in the course of carrying out a business
  • The transaction was commercial in nature

In this circumstance, the sale of your property development is considered as your business' income rather than selling an asset. So no, you can't claim the 50% CGT reduction on this.

Talk to property accountants that understand your industry

We’ll provide the right financial advice to start your property development business off on the right foot, and ensure you achieve the growth you’re looking for. Get in touch today to talk to our team.

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