5 Things you must take Care of while hiring a Tax Agent

Your tax agent can indeed save you when it comes to handling complex tax returns. But obviously it would not be right to go for just anybody. Here are 5 things to focus on to hire the most appropriate professional.

Proper registration

It is essential that your tax agent has registration done with the Tax Practitioners Board. This guarantees that the agent has required experience and qualifications, have good character and are not bankrupt.

So, once you contact a tax professional, you must ask for his or her registration number. It would also be advisable to go for a background check to verify whether they are registered with the board.

Fees

Are you aware of the fact that only an agent who is registered is allowed to charge a fee for rendering assistance in filing a return? By availing the services of an efficient tax agent, you can successfully manage your tax deductions, so that’s a big gain for you.

Preparing a tax return does not have any specific fee. Hence, the fees vary on the basis of the overheads.

The responsibility of tax

Even if you avail the assistance of a professional to fill out the form, it is you who has the main responsibility with respect to the information provided for the tax return. In case the agent commits any mistakes, it is your responsibility to handle the extra charges that the ATO levies upon you.

So make sure that your agent is an efficient one and you share with him all the information that is needed for a proper return.

Documentation

Whenever you consult a tax agent in Sydney, remember to carry the following documents with you:

  • Past financial statements and tax returns
  • In case you have incurred a business loss, or have depreciated assets or claimed business deductions previously, such things may be carried forward.
  • If you have worked for employers in the year in question, you must carry the group certificates or payment summaries. In case there is no payment summary, request one from your employer.

Online ATO access

Most of the documents required by the tax consultant are accessible through the ATO’s online Tax Agent Portal, so ensure that the professional has proper access to the same. The following things should be noted:

  • They have the capability of viewing and updating your details of registration on this portal
  • Prepare, view, print and lodge tax related statements
  • Verify history and balance of debts owed to ATO
  • Place requests regarding credit transfers and refunds on your behalf
  • Deliver messages to ATO as and when required

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