Tips On Choosing A Good Tax Agent

Its tax time and June 30 has fast passed. For some it?s a good reminder of how much we have earned for the year according to our group certificate and to all it brings the obligation of having to prepare and file a tax return with the ATO.

Even with Tax Pack and online lodgement E-Tax, a  large percentage of taxpayers make mistakes on their tax returns. The only sensible thing to do therefore is to resort to seeking the services of a tax agent. If you are a Sydney resident, living can be quite expensive so obtaining a good tax agent is an essential step in maximising your cash flows.

Benefits Of Using A Tax Agent

There are a number of benefits of using a tax agent. Tax agents typically have gained a lot of experience in completing and filing tax returns; tasks that you may find painfully complex and exhausting. Tax agents are also more up to date with improvements and changes to E-Tax and Tax Pack and have a more in-depth understanding of the tax system than you may have.

Tax agents remove the administrative burden of preparing and filing tax returns. What?s more? The fees you pay tax agents are tax deductible when computing your tax liability. Despite the many benefits of using a tax agent, it should be noted that not all tax agents are good tax agents. If you are choosing a tax agent, you ought to choose one carefully.

Tips On Finding the Best Tax Agents in Sydney

The current tax agent market in Sydney is somewhat crowded and inevitably competitive. This can sometimes lead many to believe that the cheapest agents are the best. This notion is far from the truth. While it?s a good idea to confirm the total tax or accounting fees with a particular tax agent, you should give more priority to a tax agent who suits your individual tax needs and financial position.

Although there are some unqualified tax agents out there who receive warnings from the Tax Office, most tax agents in Sydney are normally duly registered. The law requires tax agents to be properly trained and registered with the Tax Practioners Board (TPB).

Get advice about your tax from a qualifed Tax Agent in Sydney click here to make an online enquiry.

Vetting Your Tax Agent

Here are some tips for choosing your tax agent in Sydney, you should satisfy yourself that the tax agent:-

  • Is registered with the Tax Agents? Board
  • Is a member of a reputable professional body that has continuous professional development requirements such as CPA (Certified Practising Accountant) or ICA (Institute of Chartered Accountants)
  • Will be available in the following financial year to provide follow-up service or ongoing tax planning advice

If yours is a slightly more complex situation, you will need to ascertain whether or not the tax agent:-

  • Provides extra services: tax planning, self managed superannuation, business tax, financial planning, redundancy payments etc.
  • Understands tax substantiation rules
  • Will act on your behalf with the ATO on matters such as private ruling requests and amendments to prior year returns (this can save you hours of time)
  • Is willing to help with any Tax Office audits should they arise

More On Complex Areas

Complex areas such as capital gains tax problems, business interests and negatively gearing property typically require the service of an accountant. Property, for one, is an inherently complex tax area due to depreciation computation and problems of distinguishing between repairs and replacement. You may end up underpaying tax which can and does attract significant penalties. What?s more? You may overpay tax thereby penalizing yourself. In such cases, spending some dollars on a good accountant is certainly worth it.

Don?t Let The Past Catch Up With You

If you are behind in lodging your tax returns of a number of years, it is a good idea to get your act together and do so as soon as possible. If you are in a tax refund position, the ATO won?t be really concerned and could be very happy to keep your money for as long as possible. If you owe them money on the other hand, you could be in for a rough ride. For example, late payment fines ranging from $110 to $550 apply if you fail to lodge your tax return within 4 months after the due date. After this period, you could pay fines of $2,750 or more. This is of course excluding interest charged on the outstanding tax amount.

The good thing however is that the Tax Office will be a lot more understanding of your predicament if you present yourself voluntarily as opposed to them tracking you down. With the increased sophistication of the Australian Tax Office processes, it is only a matter of time before the Tax Office catches up with the non-complying taxpayers. Presenting your case up with help of a good tax agent or accountant to the Tax Office is therefore the best course of action if you are in this situation.

Source: L Chen (CPA) Maxmillian Management

Get advice about your tax return from a tax agent in Sydney click here Competitive tax return fees, fast service and quality tax advice.  

Disclaimer: The information on this site is general in nature and not financial advice. Visitors should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.





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