TAKE A DEEP BREATH… taxes don’t need to give you anxiety and tax time doesn’t need to be a stress! As small business owners, taxes can seem super overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. Here are a few key things you can do to make sure you are prepared this tax time.
Get an accountant/tax agent that you vibe with. Having a good working relationship is key to getting the most out of your tax and accounting services. You need to feel comfortable enough to discuss all your money matters with your agent. You should be able to tell them fully about the type of work you’re doing as well as any barriers or pitfalls you feel you face. To really get the most out of the relationship it needs to be a two-way street. At the end of the day, you are ultimately responsible for what gets lodged to the ATO. Your agent most likely has 100’s if not 1000’s of clients. Chasing clients for info, or clients not turning up for appointments makes life very hard for agents when trying to be accurate and timely.
Ask questions, lots of questions! Don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t understand what you are looking at or what you are paying just ask. The last thing any agent wants is a client to sign something they don’t understand or are anxious about. Sometimes we get so used to concepts or accounting jargon, we may gloss over things that you don’t fully understand. We want you to stop us… tell us ‘hey, back up!’ We don’t know you don’t know unless you tell us!
Save everything and tell us TOO much info! When working out what you need to save for your return the answer is everything. Well, basically everything. If you have a receipt for an expense that you are on the fence about or it is a grey area, keep it. That’s our job to work out the deductibility of things. We also need to know EVERYTHING that has happened in the last year. It can all impact your claim. Had a baby? Tell us! Got married? Tell us. New job, new car, new house, new laptop, crypto… TELL US!
Don’t expect to understand everything! We hear clients say time and time again, I just don’t understand tax, or I want to know everything about tax. The reality is unless you are prepared to go to Uni for 4 years, then work some grueling 8 am – 6 pm job at some big money-grabbing accounting firm for the next 5 years, you can’t know everything there is to know about tax. I have been at this for 15 years and I don’t know everything. What you need to know is the basics of the tax system in relation to your business structure. The rest should be handled by your trusted accountant. That’s what we are here for. To navigate and advise you about your taxes and keeping compliant.
Follow us up! We are humans too, and we get 100’s of emails/calls/texts every day. Getting a tax return completed can sometimes take quite a bit of back and forth. If you email us and we haven’t responded, trust us, we aren’t ghosting you. PLEASE follow us up! We want and need you to do that, we may just be waiting on some information or something from the ATO or your email may have fallen victim to our spam filters, either way, give us a poke and let us know what you need!