Faq’s

1. Do Centrelink still send out statements of benefits received?

Centrelink in many cases do not send out statements detailing the amount of benefits you were paid during the year. We can obtain this information for you via a 'Pre-Filling Report' from the tax office, if you are a client of ours.

2. I only had a low income this year, do I need to lodge a tax return?

It depends upon all your individual circumstances. You can earn up to $20,542 for the year ending 30 June 2014, before paying any tax but if you have had tax withheld by an employer you may get all that tax refunded. There can be other tax credits or refundable off-sets you may not be aware of which can also be refundable. Dividends paid can carry franking credits which may also be fully refundable to you. Most managed investment funds have tax credits that may also be refundable. Tax can be withheld from bank interest if your tax file number has not been provided. This withholding tax is also refundable. If you earn above $20,542 then you will need to lodge a return.

3. What if I do not have a Group Certificate or PAYG Payment Summary?

Under the Tax Law your employer is required to supply you with a payment summary by the 14th of July each year. In some case your employer may be unable to provide you with your payment summary as soon as required. We may be able to help you assemble the information required to proceed with preparation of your return. In some cases the information can be obtained from the tax office via a 'Pre-filling Report' or by other means on your behalf.

4. What is Group Certificate or PAYG Payment Summary?

It is the document your employer will provide you at the end of the financial year that has all the information needed for lodging your tax refund. It sets out your Gross Income, allowances and the tax withheld by your employer. Each of the employers for whom you have worked during the financial year must supply you the Payment Summary.

5. What if I am overdue to lodge my return?

Sometimes clients get late with lodging returns and often we get clients with multiple years of tax returns outstanding. This is not a problem. We have lodged 22 years returns for one very late client. The client got a large refund and had been worrying for many years needlessly.

If you have over due returns, then just contact us immediately. Generally a wage earner has enough tax withheld by the employer to cover the tax owing. If you are in a refund situation, then the tax office may not impose late fines. If you do end up owing money, then the faster you have the returns processed the sooner we can help you. In some cases we can work with the tax office to reduce or eliminate fines or interest. We can even help work out a repayment plan with the tax office if needed.

6. How long do I need to keep my taxation records?

Generally you must keep your records for 5 years from the date you lodge your return. This period can be longer in some situations.

7. How can I contact the Australian Tax Office?

The contact phone numbers for the tax office are shown below. They should be able to redirect any enquiry you may have from these contacts.

  • If you are in business then call on 13 28 66
  • If you are calling about general information call on 13 28 61

8. The bank withheld tax from my interest income. How can I get it back?

Sometimes we don’t quote our tax file number to the bank for each bank account we have. When this happens these institutions withhold tax at the top rate of 46.5%. This amount of tax withheld is money you are entitled to have refunded. Make sure you tell us about it, so it can be claimed back for you in your tax return. You don't get it back unless a claim is made in your tax return correctly. Often clients don't even know that tax is being withheld. Check your bank statements to see if interest has been withheld for 'not providing a Tax File Number'.

9. What tax deductions can I claim in my tax return?

You can usually claim in some way, 'any costs or expenses that you have to incur to help earn your income'. So if you needed to buy a laptop for work use or protective clothing, they would be claimable. If you drove somewhere to do a work related job, the motor vehicle costs could be claimed (keep a record of the distance travelled for work purposes). When a cost is incurred to help earn your income (there has to be that connection), we can usually claim a tax deduction for you in some way. 

10. What if I have found errors in a past tax return?

We can amend your past tax returns to correct an error. There are limits on how far back we can amend but the tax office can be flexible on these time limits if the correct approach is made to them.

11. What if I have owned a rental property for some years already and did not have a Surveyor report?

That is not a problem. We can organise a Quantity Surveyor to inspect and value your property back at the date when you purchased the property. We will then seek to amend you past tax returns to claim your tax deductions that have been missed in the past.

12. What if I do not have details of the building costs of my rental property?

That is not a problem. We can organise a Quantity Surveyor to inspect and value your property. This service is guaranteed to double the fee cost of the report in tax deductions in the first full year or there is no charge for the service. The report provides ongoing depreciation charges that carry on in future years. The good thing about this type of tax deduction is that you are not actually outlaying money in order to get the tax deduction. You are claiming for building and other items already in the property.

13. What if I have a rental property?

We show you which information to bring along regarding the rental property. This would include the rental income collected and all expenses relating to the property. These expenses might include water rates, town rates, insurance, repairs, rental commissions, interest on loans relating to the property and travel costs. We also show you how to get a deduction for your property depreciation.

14. What information do I need to lodge my return?

Existing clients are provided with a comprehensive Tax Report and checklist. This provides useful information to save client money and a checklist to enable fast return preparation. New clients can be provide with the report or guided over the phone when making an appointment.Typical details needed to complete a simple personal tax return are:

  • Group Certificates or wages summary
  • Interest or dividend Statements
  • Other Income such as government pensions or benefits
  • Details of your work related expenses
  • Partners income details
  • Medical expenses paid and Private Health Insurance statement

If you would like to receive a copy of the report and checklist, simply request the 'Tax Report and Checklist' by sending an email or phoning us. 

15. Do I have to pay for the return before lodgement?

It is your choice. You can pay for your return before lodgement or have the fees deducted from your refund. If you pay up front, then your tax refund is paid directly by the tax office into your personal bank account. With 'fee from refund', the tax office pays the money directly into our Trust Account. You will then be sent a personal cheque for your refund (less our fees). Some clients also prefer to pay by cash, cheque or direct transfer to our bank account.

16. How long does it take?

For most clients the interview through to lodgement will only take only about 30 minutes to complete. The tax office will normally processes returns within 14 days of lodgement. For more complicated situations a return may not be completed immediately. In these situations, a copy for your records, original return to sign, return paid envelope and a clear instruction letter summarising your refund and where to sign, is posted out to you within a few days.

17. How much does a tax return cost to prepare?

Fees vary for tax returns depending upon the complexity and the type of tax return required.

  • Basic Individual tax returns are $180 (includes GST)
  • Where fees are deducted from your refund there is an additional $15 (includes GST)
  • Where partners have returns prepared together there is a discount of $40 (includes GST)
  • Business tax returns are based upon the individual business, structure and time taken. Estimates can be made upon request based upon the information supplied.

18. Why should I do my personal tax return with you?

We have been operating since 1988 and we are committed to providing you with a high quality, personal service. Clients are always pleased with our fast, professional service and Immediate Lodgement Service. We offer free tax advice all year round to make your life even easier.

In a nutshell, here are the services we provide:

  • Maximise your refund and deductions: A qualified accountant will run you through an extensive series of questions to help legally maximise your refund, before your return it is lodged with the tax office. Experience from preparing over 13,000 tax returns often allows us to identify additional areas of extra deductions or additional tax off-sets you were not even aware of to increase your refund.
  • Faster Service and Lodgement: Most personal tax returns are completed and lodged immediately. Your return will be lodged directly into the Australian Taxation Office computers while you watch. This means you get the fastest possible service and a very fast refund.
  • Accurate Estimate: You will be provided with a written and detailed estimate which shows exactly how much your refund will be, to the cent.
  • Instant Personalised Copy:  You will instantly have a printed personalised copy of your entire tax return along with your original receipts and papers. A copy of the return can be emailed to you as a PDF file. This allows for easy use of the document as a record or for forwarding to Centrelink or banks etc.
  • Pre-fillingReport: A tax office report is downloaded for all our clients. This report has personalised information showing what the tax office already knows about your income, interest, shares and other details. The report is a useful aid to the accurate preparation of your tax return. Often missing or forgotten details such as Centrelink pensions can be found. This saves you fines and worry.
  • Fees: Fees can be paid up front before lodgement or they can be deducted from your refund.

19. What type of clients do you work with?

We cater for clients that need help with their personal tax returns and provide advice with all taxation and related matters. Most of our Business clients are small businesses, operating in a variety of service, farming, professional, manufacturing or trade related industries. The type of business structure most commonly used range from sole trader, partnership, trust to company. Many of our clients are based locally; however we cater for busy clients who prefer to deal via the internet, phone or by mail. Distance is not really an issue today.

20. I don't understand all the financial reports or advice I currently get. How can you help?

Being in small business does not have to be confusing. Providing financial reports in a simple, readily understood layout is just better design and understanding of what the average small business operator needs. Advice can be provided in a clear and 'jargon free' way which all means you get 'advice you can understand'.

21. I have not done my tax for many years. Can you help?

Sometimes clients get late with lodging returns and often we get clients with multiple years of tax returns outstanding. This is not a problem. We have lodged 22 years returns for one very late client. The client got a large refund and had been worrying for many years needlessly.

If you have over due returns, then just contact us immediately. Generally a wage earner has enough tax withheld by the employer to cover the tax owing. If you are in a refund situation, then the tax office may not impose late fines. If you do end up owing money, then the faster you have the returns processed the sooner we can help you. In some cases we can work with the tax office to reduce or eliminate fines or interest. We can even help work out a repayment plan with the tax office if that was to be needed.

22. I am going to start my own business. What should I do?

Congratulations. There are many steps to put in place before you begin your new business. Get advice early, as it is often difficult to put some things in place after certain events have occurred.  Some of the issues we will discuss and put in place for you include: type of business structure you need, tax file number application, ABN application, GST registration, other business registrations, set up a simple and effective record keeping system that meets your needs and ability. We have written a book called 'Start, Manage and Grow Your Own Small Business' which sets out everything a business owner needs to know. This is available for clients on a CD. Write down any questions you may have and then give us a call (03) 5382 4485.