FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
 
  1. How much do you charge?
  2. Can I have your fee taken from my refund?
  3. Where is your nearest office to where I live?
  4. What hours are your offices open during the year?
  5. Can I prepare my own tax return on-line?
  6. Can you prepare multiple years returns at the same time?
  7. Do I have to lodge a tax return?
  8. Can I claim any deductions if I have no receipts?
  9. How long will my refund take?
  10. What if I don't have a Payment Summary from a job?
  11. I am presently living overseas or may leave before I receive my Payment Summary. How can I prepare my Australian tax return?
  12. I have a "Working Visa". What do I need in order to work in Australia?
  13. Can I claim travel for my work?
  14. I have received a divident statement, do I need to declare this as income?
  15. Will I be penalised for lodging my return late?
  16. Do I get all my tax back if I only work a few months of the financial year?
  17. How much can I claim if I buy a computer?
  18. How much can I claim on my motor vehicle?
  19. How much can I claim for my wife and my children?
  20. Can I claim my work uniform as a tax deduction?
  21. We had a baby last year, who should claim the baby bonus?
  22. What deductions can I claim if I'm studying?
  23. I received money from the government during the year, do I need to include it in my tax return?
  24. The Senior Australian tax offset, how does this affect me?
  25. Do you hold Tax Training Courses each year?
  26. What forms do I need to fill in for an employer?
  27. What is your fee policy?
  28. Do you guarantee your work?
 
1. How much do you charge?
The fee for tax return preparation depends upon the complexity of income and deductions involved. The fee for most "I" returns is between $99 to $130 where the fee is paid by cash, cheque or credit card at the time of preparation. That fee is tax deductible in the tax year paid.
 
2. Can I have your fee taken from my refund?
We can deduct the ITP fee from the ATO refund and have the net funds deposited directly into your own bank account should you so wish. With the negotiation charges of the ATO cheque, the possibility of reduced refund by the ATO for unpaid child support and other overpaid DOCS charges, unpaid HECS charges together with the ITP costs spent in processing an additional fee will be charged of around $30.
 
3. Where is your nearest office to where I live?
We have offices in Manly. Mona Vale, Dee Why and Hornsby Click the Contact Us link on The Top Left hand side of this page for directions
 
4. What hours are your offices open during the year?
1 July to 31 October - All our offices are open during the peak tax period 5 days each week and after hours and Saturdays. Although no appointment is necessary to lessen any waiting time the making of an appointment is recommended.
Go to the Contact Us link on The Top Left hand side of this page to get our current timings
 
5. Can I prepare my own tax return on-line?
The Tax Agent's Board do not condone on-line preparation by Registered Tax Agents who in their view do not scruitinise all original client documents. Although we have the software to do so we are reluctant to provide this service until the Tax Agent's Board relax their requirements. There are some organisations who provide this service especially the ATO's own site at www.ato.gov.au.
 
6. Can you prepare multiple years returns at the same time?
We can prepare and lodge all past year's returns together at the same time. The current year's refunds will be returned in the normal period but there may be slight delays with refunds coming from the ATO for previous years returns and possibly not arriving together.
 
7. Do I have to lodge a tax return?
Some individuals do not have to lodge a tax return. Each person's situation will differ due to age, income and expenses. Seek expert advice from the ITP office nearest you, with details obtained from the ITP Locations link on this web site.
 
8. Can I claim any deductions if I have no receipts?
Under some circumstances receipts are not required, but in order to maximise your tax deductions, we recommend you retain all your work and business related receipts and bring them with you at the time of your return preparation.
 
9. How long will my refund take?
Last year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) was able to process almost 90% of returns within 14 working days. We are expecting this year however, that some delays may be encountered due to data matching between the ATO and Centrelink. If your refund has been with the ATO for more than 21 days then contact the ITP office that prepared your return for further assistance.
 
10. What if I don't have a Payment Summary from a job?
If you are still missing one of your payment summaries then you need to contact that employer. If you can't get one from that employer then contact the Tax Office on 13 28 61. Don't forget to include all your payment summaries, even if you've only worked in a job for a couple of weeks.
 
11. I am presently living overseas or may leave before I receive my Payment Summary. How can I prepare my Australian tax return?
Our expert consultants have experience in the preparation of Australian tax returns where the client is living overseas or has income or assets in countries with Double-Tax arrangements with Australia and would be able to fulfill all relevant requirements on your behalf.
 
12. I have a "Working Visa". What do I need in order to work in Australia?
A Tax File Number (TFN) is required in order to work and be properly recognised for tax purposes in Australia. An Application Form may be picked up from any branch of the ATO at any of our offices listed on the Contact Us link on The Top Left hand side of this page
 
13. Can I claim travel for my work?
Home to work and return travel is generally not claimable except in certain circumstances. Travel between jobs on the same day and travel for work (i.e. visiting clients, doing pick-ups or deliveries) would be claimable. If you use public transport then keep all receipts and/or diary records. If you use your own car then you need to keep a log book of all business mileage traveled and all expenses of the car including petrol, repairs, registration, insurance and interest on a car loan.
 
14. I have received a divident statement, do I need to declare this as income?
You need to include dividends and any other interest earned on bank accounts. Don't forget to include all interest, even if you've already closed the bank account. Also if you've quoted your tax file number when opening a bank account then you need to declare that interest in your individual tax return, not in a partnership or trust tax return.
 
15. Will I be penalised for lodging my return late?
You may receive a fine or interest penalty charge from the ATO if you lodge your return late. Generally if you are entitled to a refund those penalties are minimal. ITP has lodgement extension facilities that will minimise such charges. Contact your nearest ITP office.
 
16. Do I get all my tax back if I only work a few months of the financial year?
Not necessarily. The tax you are required to pay is calculated on your total income earned during the whole year. Whether all your income is earned in 1 day or 12 months makes no difference.
 
17. How much can I claim if I buy a computer?
If you purchase a computer for use in your work or business, you can generally claim a percentage of the depreciation that pertains to your work or business use. The depreciation allowed will depend on the expected life of the computer or how long it is expected to be current.
 
18. How much can I claim on my motor vehicle?
There are different methods for claiming expenses in relation to the business use of your motor vehicle. These can be complex so to maximise your potential claim you should maintain a daily mileage log book for at least three months of the year and a record of any expenses for the full year. Call any of our offices from the Contact Us link a brief explanation of how to record and maintain it.
 
19. How much can I claim for my wife and my children?
The amount you can claim will depend on the income levels of you and your individual family members, the age of your children and any amount already received through Centrelink payments. It is therefore important that you bring all these details with you when you have your return prepared.
 
20. Can I claim my work uniform as a tax deduction?
Deductions for uniforms can only be claimed if the work uniform is specific and identifiable to your organisation (such as chef's checked pants) or protects you from injury whilst you are at work. You can't claim the cost of a plain uniform or conventional clothing, such as white shirt and black pants or skirt which is commonly worn by waiters and waitresses, even if your employer tells you to wear them.
 
21. We had a baby last year, who should claim the baby bonus?
The baby bonus was phased out in the 2005 tax year and has been replaced by a lump sum payment which is not claimed through the income tax return
 
22. What deductions can I claim if I'm studying?
Only study directly related to your current job may be claimed as a self-education expense. For example if you were a waiter and you were studying book-keeping then you wouldn't be able to claim the cost of the course as a work related expense - even if you were looking for work as an accountant.
 
23. I received money from the government during the year, do I need to include it in my tax return?
Some government payments and allowances are included as taxable income, others are not. It's important that you declare any taxable payments such as age pensions, Newstart allowance, youth allowance or Austudy in your tax return. A complete list of payments which do not need to be included on your tax return can be determined when you meet with an ITP Consultant.
 
24. The Senior Australian tax offset, how does this affect me?
This tax offset means many seniors can reduce the amount of tax and Medicare levy they pay. In some cases people may not have to lodge a tax return.
 
25. Do you hold Tax Training Courses each year?
We conduct Tax Training Courses that teach you both the theory and practice of income tax preparation, including all of the latest tax changes including GST and the techniques for interviewing clients. There are 16 lessons plus two examinations and are conducted between February and early June for all who are interested. These courses are conducted at our Area Head Offices across Australia over a 10 week period usually two nights per week with a further 2 week computer training course for graduates. Some courses are even run full-time during the day in selected areas. The course fees vary in each area but are usually between $600-$700. Please consult the head office site listed by each State closest to you to make further enquiries.
 
26. What forms do I need to fill in for an employer?
You are required to complete a TFN Declaration Form. This will be given to you by your employer.
 
27. What is your fee policy?
We provide the best possible service for the most reasonable fee. This one time fee gives you:
* On the spot service.
* Personal attention from specialist consultants.
* Complete industry checklists to search for every legal deduction.
* Final checking, recording and lodgement of your return.
* All year advice about your return.
Our fees are fully tax deductible in the tax year paid.
 
28. Do you guarantee your work?
Every aspect of a client's tax return will be held in strict confidence.
Every return will be prepared by an ITP specialist consultant and double checked prior to lodgement.
Every legitimate deduction or rebate will be claimed.
If we make an error that results in additional tax or penalties imposed by the ATO over and above your correct position we will pay that penalty or interest.
Throughout the year, clients can discuss with us all matters relating to their personal taxation affairs without charge.
 
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