Australian property owners are becoming savvier when it comes to getting the most out of their tax returns.

According to BMT Quantity Surveyors, the number of property owners who are ordering depreciation schedules is increasing, while at the same time the time it takes them to order one is decreasing.

BMT’s figures from the 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years show the firm had a 15% year-on-year increase in the number of people ordering schedules.

“The data suggests that an increasing number of investors are becoming more sophisticated in terms of understanding the tactics available to them to increase their yields,” BMT chief executive officer Brad Beer said.

“Hand-in-hand with this large increase, the amount of time that passes between an investor purchasing a property and then ordering a tax depreciation schedule has dramatically decreased,” Beer said.

During the 2013/14 financial year, BMT found that it took owners an average of 281 days to order a tax depreciation schedule after purchasing property.

In May this year, investors were taking an average of 245 days to order a depreciation schedule, a decrease in time of nearly 13% compared to the 2013/14 financial year.

While investors are apparently becoming better at taking advantage of the tax breaks depreciation has to offer, Beer says there is still opportunity for those who may have missed claiming it in the past.

“If an investor has not claimed depreciation on an investment property in the past they are able to claim for some of the years that they missed out on and this might result in savings of up to tens of thousands of dollars,” he said.