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My tax time pet hate

Discussion in 'Accounting & Tax' started by Biz, 13th Jul, 2015.

  1. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    When someone who works a PAYG job, has no investments, little to no deductions says:

    "Does anyone know a good accountant?"

    As if they are expecting some amazing $5000 tax refund. They just have no clue as to how the tax system works. Are they expecting an accountant to break the law for them and say they have an investment property or two when they don't? I had someone on FB complain the other day about how they are only getting $400 back and it's no fair! Then someone else chimed in saying yeah I used to get ****ty returns like that until I started doing my own, Now I get min $2000 back every year and will never go back to those four eyed bastards!!!

    God help me...I really had to bite my tongue.
     
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  2. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    I see that all the time. If your employer has taken out too little you might have to pay more tax, if too much you will get more back.

    Also hear alot of people say things like - why can't I claim shoes, my friend is claiming them!
     
  3. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    "my accountant only got me $500, Johns one got him $750, im swapping to his one next year"
     
  4. Joshwaaaa

    Joshwaaaa Well-Known Member

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    One i saw today on facebook

    "only getting $360 back on tax, i need to buy my self an investment property"
     
  5. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    Hmmm. Have to agree BUT I have had plenty of clients approach me with unusual issues they didn't understand. For example in your example:
    - Are they still having HECS / HELP deducted by employer ?
    - Did they advise on TFN withholding they were non-resident
    - Did they advise on TFN withholding they didn't want the threshold
    - Did they overpay annual PAYG instalments
    - Were they unemployed half the year ?
    - Did they double pay their annual instalment.....We see it all.

    I also see many clients with mega tax problems they accumulate: non-lodgers, evaders, telling ATO lies, fake invoices / receipts, recklessness etc....Asking for help after the building is burning is too late. I cant make a sheep drink water. All I can do is leave water beside their food. A farmer will tell you sheep are basically stupid. So are some taxpayers. Ones who use an agent less likely. Many DIY aren't either. They don't come with a sign.

    Many people say "But I claim a deduction for union fee of $599 why don't I get it all back"...Often signs of reasons why they SHOULD get an accountant. Preferably one who can understand and explain the illogical thinking. But then I must wonder if the Doctor laughs (or wants to punch them in the face) when people ask for antibiotics when they have "the flu", when they have a small sniffle or a viral inflection.

    And Terry - Yes their mate is always a tax expert. Never works in tax though except the ones who used to work at ATO (mail room ?)
     
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  6. MRO

    MRO Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people seem to judge their accountant based on the size of their refund - totally stupid mentality.
    Another misconception is that because someone else says they have claimed it, you can too. Under our self assessment system you can claim whatever you like - until you are audited!
    I like to sleep well at night so always take a reasonable but conservative view on any tax matters for my own return.
     
  7. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    My mate is saving up to buy an IP with cash so he can negatively gear it. I think he needs a good accountant ;)
     
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  8. Perthguy

    Perthguy Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Years ago I went to a well respected Perth based tax accountant who made quite a number of wild claims about structuring and deductions that was well outside my understanding of what is acceptable. I took the recommendations to another tax accountant, referred to me by someone I trust. Accountant number 2 went through all the recommendations and told me: no, no, no, advise against, advise against, no, no, no. I took the advice of accountant number 2. In the end, you have to do what you are comfortable with. I was not comfortable with accountant number 1's approach. Of course it helps to be well educated in such matters. Because of my background, I could see the issues with ac 1's approach. Others who are not so educated were not so lucky. I know of at least one that got burned big time.
     
  9. sanj

    sanj Well-Known Member

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    Good lord
     
  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    What about this one - "my mate told me to redraw all the extra repayments from my home loan before I rent it out so I can claim more costs"

    Replace 'mate' with 'my accountant' in some instances.
     
  11. pinkboy

    pinkboy Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Got all my Payment Summaries done today and in the mail this afternoon.

    As I was away last 2 weeks I've had numerous calls and texts 'Are they done yet?' so they can get their tax done so they can buy car parts or whatever. That's my whiny rant for tax time.

    I always like to check them and sign them so they can just wait for me.


    pinkboy
     
  12. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    Sheesh. Don't peeps realise that if they get money back from the ATO that they've paid too much?

    They've done without this money all year so shouldn't look at the ATO as Satan Claus rather than the Grinch.
     
  13. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    All investors need good advisers.
     
  14. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    That's one way to look at it. If you underclaim deductions its throwing away cash. If you are not aware of a deduction then you will never know. Most taxpayers underclaim eligible deductions or overclaim. BOTH are equally wrong.
     
  15. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    A good accountant is worth their weight in gold and you do sometimes need to pay for the level of service they are giving you.
     
  16. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    "Can I claim stationary etc up to $300 without receipt? It's all work related (but none were actually incurred)"
    I need to be confident that the return is done correctly, I don't have the skill for that unfortunately.
     
  17. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    And then
    Isn't it $300 per item without a receipt?
     
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  18. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to see someone in the office try to claim $300 in petty cash without a receipt.
     
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  19. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Yep; better time of year for us - all these sorry-arsed paycheck-to-paycheck steptoe customers will finally have a few pesos to throw at their shiddboxes.
     
  20. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

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    I'm expecting a $5k refund!

    Not sure yet whether I should do my own tax return or go to an accountant. I don't think they're that good value for money. I enter all my properties into spreadsheets with incomings and outgoings only to have the accountant type it into their program and charge me $1000 for two hours work.
    The only thing holding me back is that supposedly you've got a higher risk of being audited if you do it yourself (can anyone confirm or deny this?). Not that I do a dodgy return or anything, but if I got audited, it would take me hours to prove each line item.

    So if someone knows a good accountant that's happy to charge by the hour rather than by the number of properties, please let me know. Ideally someone that has their own spreadsheet and can then upload it straight into their system without retyping everything.
    Even if they charged $200/hour, that'd be $400 total, which would be reasonable.