Should you DIY?
By Tina Zawila
2023 Tax Season is in full swing, with over 3 million individual income tax returns lodged as at 23rd July, which is 31% of returns, according to the ATO.
Have you tackled your tax return yet?
Have you decided to do it yourself, or engage a professional?
Many taxpayers have relatively straightforward income tax returns – salary or wages income, some interest received and maybe a deduction or two for laundry or donations. However, just as many taxpayers now have other investments, such as a rental property, shares or units in managed funds or even cryptocurrency transactions, and that’s when things can get tricky.
It’s important to correctly record income from all sources in your income tax return particularly given that the ATO has access to sophisticated data-matching information that lets them know what to expect in your income tax return.
Cryptocurrency transactions in particular, are subject to capital gains tax, therefore calculating the correct gain/loss to declare requires detailed knowledge of taxation legislation.
Of course, it’s also important to maximise your deductions to minimize tax payable, and it’s always good to be familiar with any other tax rebates you may be entitled to, or levies or surcharges that may be charged (such as the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don’t have Private Health Insurance – Hospital cover when your income is over the threshold). That way there are no surprises when your tax return is assessed by the ATO, and they issue your refund or a notice of tax payable.
This is where a professional tax agent earns their keep. We can accurately calculate any investment income or capital gains/losses, advise on deductions that you may not be aware you are entitled to, calculate any rebates, levies or surcharges and provide you with an estimate of your tax refund/payable amount so that there are no surprises.
However, a word of warning, not all tax agents are created equal (and some are not even properly qualified, insured or registered). Just this week the Tax Practitioner’s Board warned the public to be extra cautious this tax time and to be on the lookout for fake tax agents, also called unregistered preparers, trying to lure taxpayers into using their tax services. Do your research and remember the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true with professional service providers.
The team at UHY Haines Norton are fully qualified, insured and registered tax agents and we have decades of experience assisting clients to minimize tax and comply with their taxation obligations. Call us today on 4972 1300 to book your appointment to prepare your 2023 income tax return.