Is it worth paying a Tax Agent or Accountant
It is no secret many people do their own tax returns directly with the ATO by the paper form which is dying out as the ATO would like everything lodged electronically to lower costs. So you need to download E-tax software from the ATO and lodge on the internet to do so.
How much does it cost?
Our simple tax returns cost between from $110 to $154. For a return that requires multiple income streams, rental property income and investment auditing, from $154. And from $220 for a small sole trader business to all the way through to the thousands, for a business return involving employees.
The risks and disadvantages of lodging your own tax return.
Every year you need to download Etax software, unfortunately printing out your tax return is a thirty-page process.
You must do it this way by 31 October each year.
If you have limited knowledge of tax, is it worth your time learning this? or can you let an expert do this while you make more from the time saved learning this?
Many apply assumptions or word of mouth to complete their tax return. Which tend to be incorrect as each individual circumstances vary. Getting it wrong may mean lost refunds or penalties.
The advantages of using a tax agent
The most obvious is to find your deductions you never knew existed.
With a tax agent, you can sit back and relax on the process. You do not need to know something about computers and downloading software stuff. But make sure you are involved in finding a good accountant and listening to what they tell you to do, as well as keep the records or generate ideas to claim more.
We offer additional comforting support such as giving you your tax file number when you can’t find it, sending you a notice of assessment or tax return copy. We will answer your general questions during the year. We can also easily access your previous tax returns if we have prepared them or contact your previous accountant if need be.
Using a tax agent gives you a long time to do your tax return than the usual 31 October, you actually have until May the following year. So you get longer to lodge your tax return when you have a tax agent like us.
We can more expertly follow up delays in processing which are common. They can offer you advice in getting waived fines or penalties. Better handle ATO checks or audits of your tax returns which can occasionally happen.
Whilst a good accountant like us should be on your side maximising your return, prompting you for more deductions, they will also tell you what not to claim that would get you into hot water, This is important as many people doing their own will make risky claims and end up in trouble with delayed returns with fines and a black mark on their tax return compliance history.
By using a tax accountant for your tax return you would pay a small fee but should receive a much greater return on your tax. Not only from their greater updated knowledge of deductions and the tax laws, but they can tell you what else to do in the future to reduce tax. So you get properly advised on your current tax year and what else you can do better for the future tax returns.
A great tax agent will give you deeper advice on more than just your tax return too. Such as planning for a certain situation like working overseas or also check your general financial health in other areas.
It’s true! Tax accountants are in business themselves and understand the business. If you are in business use an accountant and profit from their experience in businesses of their own and their clients. Tax agents are excellent networkers and can refer you to good contacts in other areas you may need. They may also become your clients too if you are in business.
What is a tax agent?
A tax agent must be registered under a governmental body called the tax practitioner board. Only if someone is a tax agent are they legally allowed to charge for tax-related services such as doing a tax return. A tax agent may access your ATO records when you give them permission to do so and contact ATO on your behalf.
Is the cheap online tax agent worth it?
There are many online tax agents which charge only about $55 for an online tax return. Many of these appear in google searches when you are looking for the Etax software. In fact we previously offered this service but have since stopped as we didn’t feel we got to know the client enough in this way to give them an excellent result. So our view is we do not believe this will give you enough exposure to the tax agent to get a good and personalised result. In fact these are often a simple prefill and validation check of your tax return, rather than fleshing out more deductions and refund for you.
Do you have an accountant?
By now hopefully, you can see if it may be good for you to have a tax agent. If your tax return is not yet done or you need to catch up on your overdue tax returns call us on 83374460 or book in now via our website here.