How much does a tax return cost? [2024]

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Published in May 2024
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How much does a tax return cost? [2024]

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Published in May 2024
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What is the cost of managing tax affairs?

How much does a tax return cost? The cost of tax return services for your personal tax return usually ranges between $100 and $400. You can expect to pay more for a company tax return. Accountant fees differ in Australia by state, the type of tax return you need done, your business structure and whether you have any major tax-related issues that need solving.

An experienced and thorough tax agent will always be able to maximise your personal or company tax return. While doing a tax return for any Australian of working age earning income is mandatory, the price you pay varies based on a range of factors.

In this article, we explore:

  • How to file a tax return in Australia
  • How much a tax return can cost
  • What you need to consider when searching for a registered tax agent to carry out and lodge your files with the ATO, and
  • How to find a quality tax return agent or small business accountant.
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tax refund

What is tax return?

What is a tax return? An income tax return is a file that needs to be filled out in order to report your taxable income, expenses and any essential information required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Anyone who has earnt money or received funds from working in the past financial year needs to fill in a tax return and lodge it by a certain date.

You can fill in and lodge the form yourself for free but this can be a frustrating experience, especially for sole traders and business owners with more complicated matters. Hiring a tax professional or tax agent is generally advised to maximize your income tax return and achieve the best financial outcome.

A tax return requires completion of numerous sections. This includes information relevant to sole traders, expenses and a wide range of deductions. Unless you have adequate knowledge about a tax return, using a professional could be a more suitable and rewarding option.

How to do tax return?

If you want to know how to do a tax return online yourself, you can link your ATO account to your myGov account to complete a very simple, basic income tax return called myTax. myTax usually already has some pre-filled data for certain sections gathered from your employer or financial institutions, such as your PAYG summary details.

For more complex company or individual tax returns, you can complete and lodge tax returns through a tax return service, like Etax Australia.

If you find your accounts too complicated and require assistance, enlist the services of a professional tax return accountant to efficiently track your records and lodge tax returns on your behalf.

What is involved in a tax return?

The tax return process can feel overwhelming, particularly if you’re a sole trader or business owner. You will need to declare your taxable income, prior tax payments, deductions and credits, plus any interest and dividend income.

Your income tax return outlines how much income you’ve earned in the previous financial year. The amount of tax refund that can be returned to you can be determined by a range of factors.

The headings to complete in a tax return encompass income (wages and salary), total tax withheld, and deductions (including work-related expenses, gifts and donations, and losses). Your medicare levy, adjustments, income taxes, and tax offsets will help determine the amount of your return as well.

You might like: What is a tax offset?

How much does a tax return cost – Australia?

Tax agents and tax professionals usually charge a fee between $100 to $280 on average to fill in and lodge your personal tax return on your behalf. A personal tax return can cost anywhere from $100 to $400, while a company tax return fee can range between $300 and $1,000, and a sole trader can expect to pay $180 to $500.

For basic bookkeeping help, bookkeepers cost $70 to $300. Tax accountant cost for a BAS lodgement could set you back between $150 and $500.

The main factor that affects the cost of your tax accountant will be the structure of your business and how often you’ll need to employ the services of a tax specialist.

If you’re a business owner, it’s essential to ensure your tax claims are all legally available deductions. A tax professional or registered tax agent is a great place to start to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Want to find an accountant in SydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaide or Perth?

tax return cost

When do I need to lodge a tax return?

When can I lodge my tax return 2023? The tax return deadline for lodgement in Australia is by the 31st October. The tax season runs from the 1st of July until the 31st of October each year. You need to assess and return all your taxable income from the 1st of July to the 30th of June for the financial year to the ATO by this date. If you have registered with a tax accountant by this date, you may be eligible for an extension.

For individuals who have been overseas or missed tax returns, you can file for previous years online or arrange for your tax agent to help you get these up to date. Keeping up with your tax returns is important to avoid fines and penalties.

If you have lodged your tax return and did not receive an expected refund, ensure that you have correctly submitted and updated your bank account details.

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What do I need for tax return purposes?

When putting your claim together for a tax refund, you will need to have your financial records and statements ready. Here are some of the following documents you might need:

  • Income Tax Assessment from previous financial year
  • Tax File Number (TFN)
  • Bank details
  • Medicare number
  • Payment summaries from all employers and/or Centrelink, and lump-sum payment details
  • Details of foreign earnings
  • Bank or building society interest earned
  • Statements of dividends invested or received, or earnings from managed funds
  • Income from other sources, including rental properties
  • Statements of capital gains or losses from sold investments
  • If married, spouse income statements
  • Receipts for deductions, including work related expenses, gifts and donations, cost of tax accountant, contributions to super
  • Private health cover information
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What can I claim on tax?

There are lots of tax deductions to consider when doing your income tax return. These include work-related deductions, tools, equipment, self-education, home office expenses, clothing, laundry, dry cleaning and travel expenses.

Is the tax return accounting fee tax deductible?

Yes, you can claim the cost of managing your tax affairs as a deduction. If you engage a professional tax consultant to take care of your tax affairs, you can usually deduct the accounting fee from your tax return.

To find out more information regarding what can or can’t be claimed, have a chat with a local tax professional or tax agent in your area.

Will I get a tax refund?

If you’ve paid more tax than you have to, you’ll receive a refund for the overpaid amount. In the case that you haven’t paid enough tax, you might have to pay a tax bill. About two-thirds of Australians’ lodging their taxes receive a tax refund. With the help of a qualified accountant, you can maximise your refund by making the right tax claims for your individual circumstances.

Who does tax returns?

There are plenty of tax services available to do your tax return, including tax accountants, tax agents, or a tax consultant. To complete and lodge tax return files in Australia, your tax professional must hold a license and be registered.

If you have a bank account set up, your tax refund will be automatically deposited once the claim is complete.

In order to carry out the lodgement of tax returns, your tax agent must register and hold a current licence. Utilising an unlicensed individual can render the lodgement illegal and prevent the processing of the return.

How to find a tax return accountant

To find out more about the price for a tax return or the costs involved in ensuring your tax and financial affairs are up to date, compare multiple free quotes with Yellow Pages. There are a range of local tax agents and accountants to assist you.

First, make sure you prepare all the documents and financial statements you need to provide to your tax return agent. Let them know all the details of the job you need done. Be sure to ask about their qualifications and insurance. Read online reviews for a better understanding of the level of expertise you might be engaging.

Want to find an accountant in SydneyMelbourneBrisbaneAdelaide or Perth?

*All prices quoted were sourced at the time this cost guide was written and should only be used as an estimate.

Tax return cost guide FAQ

Do I have to lodge a tax return?

If you earn any income with tax withheld in the financial year, you need to lodge a tax return. If you've earned $18,200 or less with no tax withheld, you might not be required to submit a tax return. However, you may need to lodge a non-lodgement advice form.

What is "fee from refund?"

Some tax return services have a fee from refund payment option. A fee from refund is when your accountant garnishes their fee from your tax refund before the ATO deposits it into your bank account. This is instead of paying them at the time the service is delivered.

What is the average tax return in Australia?

There are about 14 million individual tax returns lodged in Australia each year. The average tax return amount for those receiving refunds is about $2,800.

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