Will specialists be stung by negative gearing curbs?


With curbs on negative gearing a key election issue where do specialists stand when it comes to claiming tax relief on investment property?

According to Australian Tax Office data from 2017 there are 8585 ‘internal medicine specialists’ of whom 3403 – just under 40% – own investment properties.

And based on claims for ‘net rent loss’, 27% of all specialists were claiming negative gearing deductions.

By way of comparison, about one in four  police officers (26%) own an investment property, and 22% claimed negative gearing deductions, according to figures cited by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a recent debate with Opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten

So does this dispel the rhetoric about ‘wealthy doctors’?

The ATO figures show there are 5397 male and 3188 female internal medical specialists. Of these, 73% of the male physicians (3960) and 47% of the female physicians (1491) report an income in excess of $180,000 a year. In this high income group,  46% of specialists (2478/5451) reported an investment property and 30% (1660/5451) claimed negative gearing deductions.

On Monday 6 May Bill Shorten defended Labor’s proposal to curb negative gearing, saying it would not apply to existing investments.

“What we’re saying is on January 1 in 2020, new purchases of existing housing won’t be able to claim a Government subsidy,” he said.

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