Posts Tagged ‘What can I claim’
Every year when preparing tax returns we have clients who compare their return with that of their co-workers. The usual story, “Jack does the same job and earns the same as me but his refund is always $Thousands more than mine. Why? “
There are several reasons why this could be so. Say Jack has a dependant wife and no Kids. This means he gets a spouse rebate of $2,159.00. Jack may pay an extra $30.00 per week in tax. This means he gets an additional $1,560.00 in his tax refund. Another answer is that maybe Jack uses a shonky tax preparer.
At this time of year the Tax Office issues warnings about the risks associated with having someone prepare and lodge your income tax return.
If you’re using the services of a tax agent to prepare your tax return it’s a good idea to check they are registered, you can do this by asking to see their Certificate of Registration of Tax Agent.
The Tax Office advises that only a registered tax agent can charge a fee to prepare and lodge your tax return. Unfortunately there are some people out there who pretend to be registered tax agents when they are not. They promise bigger refunds, claim that it is all OK and assure you that there is no risk. Be warned.
Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo has stated that the Tax Office looks closely at tax returns prepared by people who claim to be tax agents but are not registered with the Tax Agents’ Board.
If you are using an unregistered tax preparer who claims to be a tax agent, then this could increase your chance of being audited by the Tax Office. Your tax return is your responsibility even if someone, including a tax agent, helps prepare and lodge it for you. While anyone can lodge and prepare a tax return on your behalf only a registered agent can charge a fee for their services.
The Tax Office looks for unusual patterns and uses analytical tools to identify returns prepared by people who are not registered tax agents. If they find major inaccuracies when reviewing these returns they may ask the taxpayer for receipts or extra information to verify their claims, and if the receipts are not there, this could result in significant increases in tax payable as well as the possibility of interest and penalties being applied.
If you would like to report an unregistered tax agent, phone the Tax Office on 1800 060 062 between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.