Should I Do My Own Tax Return?

My situation is really not that complex. I work 4 days a week for a fixed salary and I have a small hobby business (which isn't making a profit yet surprise, surprise). At the moment my tax returns are costing about $300 per year to complete. My salary isn't high and the accountant's time is worth more than mine. Should I have a go at completing my own return with e-tax?

Any advice?


  • +4

    Do it by urself mate. Done it in the past. if nothing to claim. just do it.

  • +3

    Yes, it is quite straightforward. Been doing it for myself for the last 10+ years, and the software has improved. Pre-fill info is reasonably good, although it sometimes misses some transactions. The other advantage is that once you do it this year, you can pre-fill a lot of next years's return based on this year's return.

  • +2

    yep. i agree with ozyboy, considering you have been with an accountant from previous years, you should have a knowledge of the things you can claim and just file it yourself.

  • -1

    see a different accountant

    eg. i asked quotes and some of them go crazy if they see how much investments etc. you have

    the person i see now charges and extra $30 for investment properties as long as i can collate P&Ls for the year

    all tax deductable too so you may as well

  • +1

    If yours is straightforward, you should do it yourself. Otherwise, a tax accountant to lodge a basic one as yours should be maximum $100.

  • I have some deductions to make with my hobby business. Tools and machinery type stuff. Is that going to make it more difficult??

    • +1

      Does your hobby business make a profit? If it makes a loss, it is unlikely you can claim the deductions. Instead the loss is considered non-commercial and needs to be carried forward. This is a more complex situation which may require assistance.

      • No the hobby business does not make a profit at the moment.

        • +2

          Then you can carry forward any losses made so far for the following year. If you need more advice shoot me a pm, Cheers

          Btw I have worked for the ATO, H&R Block and a Accounting firm in Melbourne.

  • Yes

  • +1

    Why not just have an attempt at it? If you find it too hard, can still go back to your, or another, accountant.

  • +2

    it's not hard to do it yourself

    BUT - because you have a side business, i would STRONGLY suggest you get an accountant

    i hate giving money to anyone (typical ozbargainer) but we have had an accountant for the last 3 years (after 10 years without) and my refunds have gone from about $500 when i did it myself to about $1800 with them. they cost about $300, but i get another $1000…..worth the cost IMO

    • +1

      However, if you have simple finances and know what you're doing, an accountant cannot create extra deductions. They should be deducting only what is allowed, which you can do yourself. If it's more complex, then an accountant is worthwhile, as they may understand the tax laws as they apply to your situation.

  • +2

    agreed - they cannot 'create' extra deductions where they don't exist, but they can tell you about deductions you didn't know about

    two years we didn't know about certain deductions for our rental property, now we do and we have benefited by over $3000 since we were informed about the ability to claim them

    this year - why not fill in the return yourself and keep a copy, then bite the bullet and pay an accountant and see how it works out. then you will know the actual benefit (or not) in your case and it shouldn't have cost too much.

  • tonyjzx, oscargamer and any others who have been happy with their accountant, would you mind sharing their details and approximate costs (payg/business/trusts/investment properties etc)? Location isn't an issue, everything can be done remotely these days. PM me or post here if you like.

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