Can You Recommend a Knowledgeable and Experienced Tax Agent to Optimize a Tax Return for an IT Professional

Hi guys,

I am looking for a seasoned Tax Agent to Optimize (read: maximize) a Tax Return for an IT Professional. A few years back I tried a couple of those who were advertising themselves under "Tax Return in 30 minutes" sign and was not impressed.
A short description of my situation - I am a contracting IT Project Manager with the main source of income from one source / employer. I do not have any income / investment properties. Got a few shares with a stock-broker (nothing major in remaining positions, almost all in cash now) and a couple of deposits with the banks.
Average annual income is in the rage of 160-180K.
I am open to any models of tax optimization - will be happy to open a company or use other means as long as these are legal and effective.

Please feel free to PM me if you don't like sharing other people's contact details in the open forum.



  • +1 vote

    H&R Block have specialised services to help plan your tax avoidance intent. In fact, most major franchises will. Just not the bloke with a fold-out chair in the middle of the shopping mall.


      I was probably a bit rough on the guys I tried before. No, it was not the very bottom level of the fold-out chairs, these were people with proper offices, supporting staff, etc. It was (and probably still is) my personal situation that has got nothing "too-much deductible" in it.

      Thanks for the advice. I might be pre-judging a bit regarding network and franchise businesses but I always though they would prefer to use "one size fits most" approach while my situation might need some active "re-engineering" and not out of box approach. Have you used H&R Block yourself for this purpose?


        Nope, not used them before as file tax returns myself. Expect to pay a pretty penny for specialised services you're asking for. Chances are, probably not worth it in your case.


          Cheers mate.
          Yes, a good service ought to be slightly more expensive :)

          And, yes, I am after a net positive result, not just a marginal rate return on the expenses I would not need otherwise.
          That's why I am here checking if anyone have had a similar experience with a good outcome.

  • +2 votes

    A few years back I tried a couple of those who were advertising themselves under "Tax Return in 30 minutes" sign and was not impressed. 

    Haha, you get what you pay for

    You've not mentioned where you are from


      Cheers for the laughs :)

      As I mentioned above - I was probably a bit rough on the guys I tried before. No, it was not the very bottom level of the fold-out chairs but nonetheless.

      I am from Sydney if that makes a difference.

      • +6 votes

        I'll pm you some tax reference material,

        As a contractor with one main source of income, your income is more than likely subject to PSI rules with deductions more or less the same as an employee

        Edit: your PMs are off


    Apologies mate, switched the PM on now - wasn't aware of the default setting.

    Yes, are spot on - even though I am contractor, more than 80% of income from one source makes me a regular employee in the eyes of ATO and hence the limited options for deductions. This is why I am after a good re-engineering advice and don't mind paying a seasoned professional for that.

    • +1 vote

      I think the point is because you're a contractor with more than 80% of your income from one source(thereby making it PSI income), there is not much "re-engineering" that can be done beyond your current position without going into tax avoidance territory.

      The best you're going to be able to do is to run your contracting through a company/trust and defer your income tax payable for up to 18 months if you time it right. But that will only be effective for the first tax year, after that, they'll make you pay PAYG instalments. Because it's PSI income, that's about the extent of the optimisations you can legally do.


    In b4 people msg you going "this guy is great, contact him" and it'll be the person that msged you…


      I'm sure you get all sorts of messages about cars. I once said what I do specifically and got all sorts of offers ;)


        Yep, this site still hasn't turned into a deal 😂

        Wait, from memory once when I worked at Suzuki and put a deal up on here. Just once!

        It's ok I won't tell anyone you're a masseuse

  • +1 vote

    You are talking about tax planning. In that case you need 1 - 2 hours at the start to tell your tax accountant everything then create a tax plan.

    There is no point trying to minimize tax after 30th Jun.

    Example. You can salary sacrifice into super to decrease your taxable income. But you can't do that after 30th of June last financial year. It is a lot easier cash flow wise to start from 1st Jul than 3 months away from year end trying to get everything.

    • +1 vote

      Yes, that is the point of course. But the bigger questions is - can you recommend somebody who you tried yourself and who got you a nice return.
      And yes I am maxing out my concessional super contribution - but you don't need a tax planner for that.


        In Melbourne so probably can't help you. Unless you want a Melbourne guy, you could just give electronic copies of everything.

        An accountant that is good for one person might not be for another. You really need to sit down and give them context and they give you their thoughts, then ask them to explain where they are coming from. I find people who can't explain are probably people you don't really want to work with because you'll miscommunicate and they will submit stuff thinking it is best for you but end up being wrong for you down the track.

  • +2 votes

    Use Australian/British English please…


    As Kenb0 stated this income as described by your is very Personal Services Income, PSI - therefore is ultimately subject to tax at marginal rates. Unless you could classify your incomes as something which doesn't fall under PSI - ie, by selling a "Product" (bespoke software product etc) rather than a service, then you are out of luck. Read the ATO stuff regarding PSI income and you will see how wide catching it is.

    Failing this, a trust structure / company etc will not solve the issue unless you chose to deliberately miss-classify the income. (not recommended)

    Other avenues would exist for the interest income - but from the sounds of thing this is fairly minimal. (place deposit in name of spouse etc, or consider Investment bonds)

    As netjock said, a future strategy would be to maximise your super contribution each year (and pay only 15% tax on those contributions). Your retired future self may thank you one day for that.

    I hear you pain - paying roughly 60k in tax on an income of 180k is not pleasant by any means - i have been there myself in the past. As the saying goes, one thing we can be sure of is death and taxes.

    Being honest with yourself, would it be better to earn a higher income and pay more tax, then a lower income and pay less tax? The higher income will still result in more disposable income each year albeit at diminishing returns for your efforts.

    • +1 vote

      Many thanks for this post.
      Yes, all the mentioned means of minimizing the taxable income are already in place - moving savings accounts under spouse will not make much difference as the spouse is also working. Dependents under 16 won't help as taxation of minors' income is far less humane. And as mentioned above, the concessional contributions are also in play with many thanks to our wealthy government bodies who have put some efforts in reducing the cap from previous years.

      All that brought me to the point of seeking for a good professional advice and into this forum asking if anybody had some experience in dealing with some particular professionals who they can recommend. I just don't want to loose time and money only to get a common sense advice.

      Thanks for your reply.


    You going through a payroll shop or just use the default payroll service offered by your pimps?

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