Agent can make tax time easier

THIS is the first day of July. The door closes nostalgically on one financial year, and opens on the next. What does all this mean? It’s time to do your tax return.

Judy Stice, from Harbour City Accounting and Taxation, told The Observer it might be worth doing your own tax if you have no deductions or claims to make. But if you do have deductions, claims or any sort of complications, she said you could benefit from hiring a registered tax agent.

Ms Stice said there were some common mistakes made by individuals doing their own tax return. Omitting their interest and foreign-sourced income were two typical mistakes that often landed people in hot water with the Australian Taxation Office. Another error is confusing franked and unfranked dividends.

If you decide to go with an accountant, Ms Stice said it was crucial to make sure you chose a registered tax agent, since only a registered tax agent has the ability to go to the Tax Agents Board and have all penalties cleared if a mistake is made in the tax return.

She said clients needed to make sure their tax agent was giving them the attention they require.

“We actually interview all our clients,” she said.

“We sit with them and talk about their requirements, whether they are an individual with a standard tax deduction, or a business. We ask them are they up to date with all their liabilities? How is their cash flow? Are they getting all the best deductions available? And taking into account the small business offsets that are available.”



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