If you’ve decided to use an Australian Tax Agent to prepare and lodge your tax return (particularly if this is the first you’ve used a Tax Agent), then we’ve got a few tips and tricks for you.
While Tax Agents, such as Online Tax Australia, submit your tax return on your behalf, you will have to do some organisation and preparation so that they can maximise your tax refund. Even with a Tax Agent on-board, you will still have to do some work when it comes to preparing your tax return.
Your Tax Agent is Only as Effective as the Information You Provide
Following on from the last point, you should make sure that you provide the right sort of information to your Tax Agent, particularly if you are using a brand new Tax Agent. This includes:
- Previous tax returns, to be used as the basis for your current year’s tax return. For instance, if you claimed deductions or had depreciated assets in earlier years, then these will all need to be carried over into the current tax year.
- All your payment summaries (PAYG summaries). You will have one from each employer if you worked for more than one employer during the year. If you have not received a payment summary, then you may need to contact your employer to obtain a copy or advise your tax agent who may be able to access that information for you.
Your Tax Agent Will Need Access to Your ATO Portal
A registered Tax Agent can access most of your details (including viewing and updating personal details, lodging and viewing BAS statements, and requesting tax refunds on your behalf) via the Tax Agent Portal operated by the Australian Taxation Office. As such, you will need to give your new Tax Agent permission to access the ATO portal on your behalf, or all of your personal details.
This might sound obvious, but being organised can be one of the most important steps in terms of using a Tax Agent to prepare for the end of the financial year. If you’ve been casual with your tax receipts (hoarding them in a shoebox, plastic bag, or similar) or your invoicing throughout the course of the year, then now is the time to put them in some order OR summarise them for review by your tax agent. Being organise will assist your Tax Agent in ensuring you get the best possible tax refund.
The worst time to contact your Tax Agent to organise the preparation and lodging of your tax return is two days before the Australian Taxation Office deadline. If your Tax Agent is in demand, then it is highly likely that they have an abundance of clients. So, that means they’ll be extremely busy come tax time. Don’t leave your tax return to the last minute. Book it in early, and save both yourself, and your Tax Agent some anxiety.
Questions to Ask Your Australian Tax Agent
If you have just engaged a Tax Agent, then you might want to ask them a few questions, just to be 100% certain that they are the right fit for you. Here are a few questions you might like to ask to help ensure your new Tax Agent is as experienced and trustworthy as possible:
- Do you have any licenses or registrations?
- How long have you been a Tax Agent?
- Do you specialise in particular tax areas or issues?
- What kind of clients do you mostly have?
- Do you have the experience and expertise to handle my tax?
- How much do you charge?
- Will you prepare and lodge my tax return personally?
- How long will it take to prepare and lodge my tax return?
- Can you provide advice or assistance with other financial matters?
- Will you return my phone calls and emails within a reasonable time?
- What happens if I am audited?
You are Personally Responsible
While your tax agent will prepare and lodge your tax return, it is you who remains responsible for the information included in your tax return. Even if your tax agent makes a mistake, you will be liable for any additional payments the Australian Taxation Office deems necessary. So, make sure that you provide your Tax Agent will all the necessary information they need. And, above all, ensure that all that information is correct and as accurate as humanly possible.
If you’d like some more information on using Tax Agents, then take a look at our recent article, What to Look for When Engaging an Australian Tax Agent.
Contact Online Tax Australia: Your Reliable, Experienced Australian Tax Agent
If you’ve been searching for a reliable, experienced Australian tax agent, then contact the friendly team of professionally qualified, accountants at Online Tax Australia today:
- Call us on (03) 9852 9051
- Email us at email@example.com
- Visit us at Level 1, 278 High Street, Kew