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How to find a good accountant at tax time

Jul 26, 2016

GROUP certificates and tax statements have now arrived but many people are still trying to find a good accountant to help them sort out their annual tax return.

This is an important relationship to strike up to ensure your financial affairs are managed correctly, but there are a few things you need to do before engaging a professional.

Above all you need to check you are dealing with a qualified accountant, says Deakin University senior lecturer in tax Adrian Raftery.

“There are about 30,000 registered tax agents out there and there’s the good, the bad and the ugly,” Raftery says.

“A good one will be recognised by one of the three professionally-recognised accounting bodies, either the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, the Certified Practising Accountants of Australia or a member of the Institute of Public Accountants.”

He also says recommendations of a good accountant from family and friends can be a good way to go.

“A lot of good accountants will get most of their work from referrals rather than from cold advertising,’’ Raftery says. “Also look at their website and see what they have written themselves, like a blog entry or newsletter so you can understand their communication skills.

“If their writing is full of tax jargon and doesn’t explain it in layman’s terms — this is important for a majority of people who want things explained simply.”

He suggests signing up with someone who can speak your language and make tax as simple as possible.

Some people may also choose the do-it-yourself option when it comes to filing their return, but this may result in missing out on claiming all deductions — many use the ATO’s MyTax system.

H & R Block’s Director of Communications Mark Chapman says the price of engaging an accountant does vary, so it can pay to ask before committing to an appointment.

“If you use a CBD chartered accountant they are typically going to be more than a suburban accountant,’’ he says.

“There is a huge variation, you can spend anything from $100 to up to thousands of dollars.”

It’s also worth noting the cost of using an accountant is tax deductible.

Original article published in here in News.com.auon 25th July 2016.

 

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"Thanks for share information!!!!!"

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