There are only two things certain in life. Death and taxes! If you’re reading this you clearly don’t meet the first criteria. So tax time it is. Yet another one of those jobs that stays on the to-do list not getting done. It can all seem too hard. Finding your group certificates, compiling your receipts, can I claim for this? Or that? And what about my second job? Let’s face it. No one wants to pay more tax than they should. So, is there a way we can save on tax?
We asked Michelle Jardine, our local taxation expert, why employing a tax agent will not only help save both time and money but how it will make this whole process easier, for both individuals and businesses. Here’s what she said.
Why do I need a tax agent?
I get that no one wants to pay for something they can do themselves. A registered tax agent is required to keep up to date with the current tax changes and can take the guesswork out of tax. Do you know what you can or can’t claim as a tax deduction? What records do you need to keep? How long you need to keep these records in case you’re audited? Well, if the answer to any of these is no, then a registered tax agent can help.
Even though tax is self-assessing, there are still requirements that need to be followed. You’re required to retain your tax records for a period of 5 years from the date your tax return was lodged.
Rules for tax deductions
The ATO has 3 golden rules when it comes to deductions.
- Have you spent the money and not been reimbursed by your employer;
- Is the deduction directly related to deriving your income;
- Do you have records to prove your claim? (Keep in mind some receipts do fade therefore maintaining an electronic copy is recommended. If the ATO can’t read a receipt, then their view is that there is no receipt/claim permitted)
5 reasons why a tax agent can save you money
If you want to save money on tax it’s a good investment to speak to a tax agent. Let’s have a look at some of the ways they can help.
1. Time is money
MyGov can be frustrating and ‘clunky’ therefore people go around and around in circles wasting hours trying to complete and lodge their tax returns. Registered tax agents have dedicated software to lodge client tax returns and due to the high volume of returns we do, we can complete within an hour for a standard tax return reducing the amount of time you need to invest in your tax.
2. Extended due dates
For those who may have tax payables, tax agents have extended lodgement due dates, therefore extended payment dates This means your money can stay in your pocket (or be offsetting bad debt, such as home loans) for longer.
3. Claiming the right deductions
Every tax return is unique and tax agents will prompt you for deductions you may not have realised are deductible, ensuring you only pay the tax you should and maximising tax refunds.
4. Tax minimisation planning for future year
By the time individual tax clients complete their tax return, tax planning or minimisation opportunities have passed. Most tax agents will point out considerations for next year and what records to retain.
Your tax agent will take the stress out of your tax return preparation by advising what you can or can’t claim together with what records you need to be entitled to claim these deductions. We can also explain how your tax has been calculated. In the case of an audit, we can assist you with this too.
Find the right tax agent for you
Building a good relationship with your tax agent is a great investment. We can assist you as you progress through the years and your circumstances and investments change, and advise you on the tax implications of these changes, such as Capital Gains Tax (CGT), retirement, superannuation, redundancy etc.
Not all tax agents are the same, we are human, and as such we have different personalities and qualities. You should be comfortable with your tax agent and able to talk to them about your situation, as we can’t assist if we don’t know the full story.
If I haven’t given you enough reasons to get in contact with a tax agent this year, did I mention, registered tax agent fees are tax-deductible? Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about your tax. Let me help you lighten your load.
Michelle Jardine | Accounting, Taxation & Business Services
Michelle Jardine – Owner
Description: Based in Warners Bay, Michelle has been practising for over 20 years. delivering premium tax and accounting services to individuals, small businesses, and companies. As a registered CPA, Michelle’s expertise covers accounting, taxation, and business services including bookkeeping & software solutions. Michelle is a certified Xero Advisor and is extremely client-focused in her delivery. From personal tax returns to payroll services, Michelle can help make the reporting process seamless.
Phone: 0422 124 444