Tag: online tax preparation

Posts Tagged ‘online tax preparation’

It’s Not Too Late to Lodge a 2016 Tax Return Online

Always running late? Stay on time this tax season!

The tax deadline to lodge your 2016 tax return is 31 October. Maybe you’ve been late lodging your tax return in the past but we’re going to help you turn over a new leaf. E-Lodge makes it easy for you since you can lodge your 2016 tax return online, right from the comfort of your own couch!

Let’s discuss a few tips that will make this process as stress-free and simple as possible.

 

Make sure you have your PAYG Summary (and other income documents).

This may seem self explanatory but is easy to overlook sometimes. According to the ATO, employers should have employee PAYG payment summaries issued by 14 July. That being said, you should have your PAYG by mid-July whether or not the withheld amount is nil.

Don’t have yours yet? We can help with that.

There are a few ways to track down your payment summary:

  • Request a copy from your employer
  • Request a letter from your employer which stated your income and amount withheld
  • Review your payslips, timesheets and bank statements

Worst case scenario? You can lodge your tax return without a PAYG. Of course, you’ll need to estimate your income and withholding details as best you can. For help, use the ATO’s tool, gross pay estimator. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Lodge a 2017 Tax Return

Time to lodge your 2017 tax return.

This tax season runs in between 1 July to 31 October. With that in mind, when the time comes to lodge your 2017 tax return, it can make you feel like your mind is running a marathon and the finish line is nowhere in sight. Luckily, there are a few ways to lodge your tax return.

 

How do I lodge my taxes?

Taxes get complicated but keep in mind that you have more than one option for lodging your taxes.

  1. Lodge online: You can lodge with a registered online company.
  2. Lodge with a registered tax accountant: You can visit your local tax office to lodge with a tax agent. Tax season can be busy so be prepared for lengthy waiting times, steep prices and consultations.
  3. Lodge through the ATO: You can lodge on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website or MyGov. Keep in mind that your return will be self-prepared using MyGov.

You might be wondering if you could make this process simpler.
Read the rest of this entry »

Is a Tax Agent Better than Lodging Tax Online?

Out with the old and in with the new…maybe.

Back in the day, preparing your tax return meant taking a seat at the kitchen table and sifting through multiple ATO forms and long strings of numbers for hours or taking them to a local accountant. Both options are tedious and costly; in either time or money. But now we have the wonderful world of e-lodging available to us, which allows us to avoid both our childhood nightmares of failing math class and changing out of our pajamas just to mosey on over to our accountant.

I’m not knocking accountants at all. In fact, in some cases, you may be better off. Together, we’ll discuss the differences, good and bad, between using an accountant in person versus lodging with an accountant online.

 

If timing is everything to you…

An accountant allows  you to schedule an appointment to come into their office. Once you’re there, you’ll either be out within the hour or hopefully in time to grab a late dinner. Lodging online allows you to work as quickly or slowly as you’re comfortable with. You’ll need to answer the initial questions before an online tax agent can take over and check your work. You can start and stop as often as necessary then log back in later to finish up.

Conclusion: Decide if you’d like to work at your own pace or at the pace of your accountant. You may not be able to decide this until you know the speed at which you can answer the posed questions online compared to how quickly your accountant can do it in-office.

 

If pricing is key…

Private accountants tend to charge a high flat fee per tax return or by the hour. Preparing your tax return through an online website allows you to pay a price based on the complexity of your tax return. Websites will typically have a choice of different pay packages. The prices tend to be lower than seeing a tax advisor face-to-face.

Conclusion: Private accountants that you see in-person tend to come at a higher cost than lodging with an online tax agent who you wouldn’t get to see in-office.

 

If your peace-of-mind matters the most…

I would say that the best thing about physically going to see your accountant is the peace-of-mind you have on your way out of their office. You begin to build a relationship with them by coming back year to year and getting on a first-name-basis. It’s a sense of security.

When it comes to lodging online, at least with E-Lodge, you can still build that sense of trust and security. There are just a few extra walls to knock down on the way. Online, you’ll get the complete review of your tax return by a certified accountant. The difference is we’re not talking you through the entire process. We reach out with any deductions, offsets or other information you may have missed while you can contact us with any questions or concerns you have.

Conclusion: If you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, peace-of-mind is available with both options we’ve discussed. It’s between watching an accountant check your tax return sitting across the desk from you or knowing an accountant has reviewed your tax return over the phone with you. 

 

If the convenience level is important…

Convenience becomes a tricky factor to judge but tends to be important among taxpayers. Lodging online allows you to choose when, where and on what device you’d like to complete your tax return. On the other hand, if you’re not at all comfortable with computers, then preparing your tax return online may seem more inconvenient (even while sitting on your couch in your favorite slippers).

Conclusion: You’ll want to take into account how comfortable you are behind a screen as opposed to in front of a person. Trust me, you won’t need to know how to code a website. You’ll be good if you know where the space bar is.

 

So what’s the best option for you?

Everyone is different. So is every tax situation. That being said, while one person prefers more hands-on help, another person may want a lower cost or to lodge from their iPhone. Priorities range which is why our choices have expanded to fit our needs. When lodging your tax return this year, you should choose the option that fits your priorities best.

WATER SPORT

 

 

Updated 10 August 2016.

How Much Does a Tax Accountant Cost?

An accountant can cost you an arm and a leg. Is it worth it?

Hiring an accountant is common among Australian taxpayers. In fact, many believe that this is the only option available in order to get the biggest refund possible. Of course, with all of the best things in life, there are down sides. Although you’re provided peace-of-mind and reassurance with an accountant, you’ll pay a high price in your time and money.

So now it’s time to weigh the pros and cons.

 

How much would an accountant cost?

In Australia, if you don’t prepare your own tax return, you have to file with a registered tax agent. The only problem is that tax accountants can be really expensive.

Most accountants make you pay by the hour, and these rates can run quite high. For an undergraduate accountant to prepare and lodge your tax return, you can expect a bill for about $100 an hour. A senior or principal accountant could cost you $275 an hour or more.


You might be able to negotiate a fixed-fee with your tax agent, but this isn’t likely to save you much money. Even if your return is simple and you have all of the necessary paperwork in order, fixed-fee return preparation will still run you at least $100, likely somewhere in the $150-200 range.

All that money for one measly tax return! But it’s worth it, right? You’re paying your accountant to make sure all the information on your return is correct and in compliance. You don’t have time to keep up with the ever-changing tax laws. Not to mention the fact that mistakes can mean penalty fines and, in rare cases, even jail time. Read the rest of this entry »