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Taxes: doing it yourself vs. hiring a professional

By: Louise Mosqueda0 comments

You don’t start feeling like an adult until the day the government requires you to do your taxes. What are taxes? These are the fees that are responsible for adding extra lanes on the highway, running our emergency departments in hospitals and educating our children. It is also what covers the costs to keep our government running.

Together the things delivered from our personal and company tax system are what makes Australia a great place to live. For most of us, our employers are taking the tax portion from our regular wages or salary and forwarding it to the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) on our behalf.

Then once a year we have the chance to balance our account by lodging a tax return that outlines all the money we earned, the tax paid and the expenses that are tax deductible.

The big question for most of us is: do we do it ourselves, or do we hire a tax professional who can lodge our return on our behalf

Which is better?

Here are a few pros of doing taxes on your own, and hiring a professional:

Pros of doing taxes on your own

doing taxes yourself

When you take the time to do your taxes yourself, you get to see how you have used your money over the past year, and you can keep better tabs on everything, especially if you’ve been taking care of your receipts and more throughout the year.

  • Save money. Getting a professional to help you can cost you money as you have to pay for their services. When you learn to do your taxes yourself, you can save money and learn an essential life skill in the process.

  • Tools to help. The internet has just about everything you need, including help with your taxes. Software like e-tax developed by the Australian Tax Office is designed to help taxpayers get their paperwork in order.

  • Get refunds (if any) faster. Professional accountants will be juggling clients as the deadline draws near. That means if you are due for a refund, it may take them a while to process everything and get it done. When you do it yourself, you can begin the process of getting your refunds a lot faster.

Pros of hiring a professional

hiring a professional
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Hiring someone to do your taxes for you can save you time. But it may cost you a fee that you could have avoided.

  • Professional advice. A great thing about hiring professional help is that they can offer you advice on what you can do differently with your accounts. The critical thing to remember is the cost of lodging your return when paid in this financial year, can be claimed as a tax deduction in the next return.

  • Up to date with the latest tax laws. Let’s face it; finance news can be quite dull to read. That’s why more often than not, a lot of people miss out on tax exemptions they could have applied for. Accountants or any professional in that field are required to be in the know, and they can do your taxes for you in accordance with all the latest tax laws.

  • Peace of mind. There is always the worry of making a mistake with your taxes as you go on. Professionals cannot make a mistake as it can be costly on their end. That is why they make it a point to ensure that their work is always factual before they submit it, giving their clients peace of mind.

  • It can drive action. Often when you get sorted and make an appointment, it will stop the procrastination many of us face, and help you commit to a timeline. When left to do yourself it is really easy to see weeks and months slip by – even when you have the best intentions

Everyone will have a view and will know what works best for them. If you are new to the workforce, ask everyone you know what they how and how they find it. Then make a decision and stick to it. The best piece of advice we can offer is the sooner you lodge a return the sooner you will know what the future holds.

And if you do find a refund coming your way, and need a car – it might be time to jump online and apply for Alpha Finance. If you are lucky you may find you get a refund that not only covers the upfront deposit – but also has you ahead on weekly repayments.

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