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How To Get Your Tax Returns Done in Australia

Getting your taxes done is an important matter of legal compliance. And if you’re lucky, it could serve as a little pay day, if you’re entitled to a tax refund.

But an important question arises each year: “How should I get my taxes done?”

There are many options to get your tax return completed and lodged nowadays. You could do it yourself online, or on paper. You could use a tax agent either by visiting them in person, or doing it via correspondence.

You will ultimately have to make that choice each year when the time comes to lodge your return. Below is a consideration of these various options.

Use A Registered Tax Agent

You can uses the services of a registered tax agent. A registered tax agent is a qualified professional who specialises in completing and lodging tax returns.

The benefit of using a registered tax agent is that your tax return will be completed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

A tax agent will know how to properly complete and fill in your tax return. Importantly, a tax agent will know which deductions you can and cannot claim.

These days, you don’t even need to go and visit your tax agent in person. Many offer their services entirely online, or via email or phone. One such tax preparation service is Simply Tax. Simply Tax specialise in the preparation and lodgement of tax returns, and can do so online and via email.

Use The ATO’s Online System

You can lodge your tax return via MyTax, through MyGov.

This is the perfect solution if you have a very simple tax return. By simple tax return, I mean merely some PAYG income, a bit of bank interest, and a couple of deductions.

But for an individual who has had a capital gains event during the year, or a rental property, or a motor vehicle, or a depreciation schedule, then it is advised to use the services of a registered tax agent.

This is because MyTax isn’t very well designed for completing complex tax returns. The user interface is not that friendly, and completing various rental property schedules, business schedules, calculating depreciation and the like can become quite arduous on this platform.

Paper

Believe it or not, you can still lodge your tax return via paper. It’s not recommended, however, unless your return is very straightforward.

All you need to do is fill in the basic details (your name, your income, your deductions). Make sure you take a photocopy of it once your finished.

Once completed, simply send it to the ATO’s mailing address (which should be on your tax form).

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice is to either use a tax agent or accountant to lodge your tax return, or do it yourself.

If your return is simple, you might as well do it yourself.

If it’s a more complex return, leave it to the professionals.

And keep in mind, when you use a registered tax agent, you’ll have a longer deadlines to lodge your return. An added benefit of lodging through a tax agent.

What Does A Business Broker Do?

A business broker is a professional who specialises in the sale of small to medium sized businesses.

A business broker takes on many roles in the business sale process. Such roles generally include marketing, communicating, negotiating, and facilitating.

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Marketing

The most important step in selling a business is finding a buyer. This is achieved by a strong marketing campaign.

A business broker will devise and implement a marketing campaign with the goal of finding the right buyer for your business.

These days, marketing a business for sale is mostly undertaken via online means. A business broker will list your business in various business sale websites, such as AnyBusiness.com.au and commercialrealestate.com.au.

In addition, a broker will be marketing the business to their database of buyers. Typically, this database is a list of relevant people who have expressed serious interest in a business in recent times.

The broker will contact such people to inform them of your listing, with the aim of generating interest from these people.

Communicating

Marketing is only the first step, however.

Once there is interest among buyers, the next task of a broker is to communicate – with both buyers and the seller. Communication in business is crucial.

Buyers need to be communicated with in order to inform them about all they need to know about the business they are interested in.

In addition, a buyer will usually ask for information that the broker does not have readily on hand, and that the broker must ask the seller for.

Thus, a broker will need to communicate with the seller, requesting relevant information as it becomes requested by potential buyers.

Negotiating

The next step of the process is negotiation. A broker worth their weight in gold will be an expert negotiator.

A broker’s job is to field offers from interested buyers, and then pass on those offers to the seller. The seller will then either accept or reject the offer, or give a counter-offer, which the broker must then tell the buyer about.

The negotiation process can quickly become very back-and-forth. A broker could make 6 phone calls all in the space of 3 minutes, giving offer and counter offers to buyers and the seller.

Conclusion

In addition to all these things, a business broker does so much more. A broker is someone who will take the time to listen to your story and your needs. They’ll be you confidant and trusted advisor.

Choosing an SEO Company

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an extremely powerful marketing tactic. If done correctly, SEO can make your website rank prominently in the search results of Google.

Most people use Google to search for local services and products. Therefore, if your website ranking prominently in Google, you will be seen by the many potential customers.

The question is not whether you should implement SEO for your website. The question should be, “which SEO provider should I use?”.

SEO Consultants vs Companies

An SEO Consultant is an individual who specialises in providing SEO services. This is different to an SEO company, which is typically a larger agency with many employees implementing SEO for clients.

There are many reputable SEO service providers, both consultants and companies. Likewise, there are many that should be avoided.

Here are some factors to consider to help choose the right one.

Education

Is the person who is providing SEO services formally educated in marketing or IT? If so, this is very good, because they actually have a formal background in the subject matter of SEO.

This isn’t to say that someone without a formal background in these matters won’t be good; however, it is very helpful to have that formal education.

There is no such thing as a degree in SEO. But to be good at SEO, one needs to understand marketing, website design, basic HTML – among other things. And having a formal education in such matters is only a good thing.

But, as always, a formal education isn’t the be all end all. Experience is just as, if not more, important.

Experience

Does the consultant or company have experience?

Understandably, everyone starts somewhere. No one is born with experience. But when choosing someone to implement SEO for your business website, it is good to have the peace of mind knowing your SEO provider has done it before.

Pricing

Pricing of SEO services is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an SEO consultant or company.

This is because, as a business owner, you need your marketing efforts to be cost effective and generate a return on investment (ROI).

It’s not good to have the best SEO consultant in the world if that consultant costs you $2,000 per month, when the benefits of SEO to your business are only worth $1,000 per month.

You need to determine, in terms of the number of customers, how SEO will help you. Once you determine how many new customers SEO can bring your business, then consider the value of each customer.

Suppose ranking on page one of Google will bring your website 100 extra clicks per month. Of those 100 clicks, 10 will enquire. Of those 10, 3 will become paying customers. If each customer is worth $500, then the value of SEO for your business is $1,500 per month.

Ideally, then, your services provider would cost less than $1,500 per month.

So, take the time to consider the potential return on investment.

Area of Speciality

Does the SEO provider specialise in a particular geographic location? While not as important as other factors, it is good to have an SEO who specialises in a particular geographic location.

Why? Because they’ll understand the competitiveness of that geographic location, and therefore understand the effort required in order to improve your website’s rankings in Google.

If you are in Sydney, it helps to choose an SEO Sydney provider, for example, or an SEO consultant who is located in Sydney, and has implemented SEO for websites for businesses located in Sydney.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you must consider the education, experience, pricing and area of specialty of a prospective SEO service provider in order to make the most informed decision possible.

In addition, of course, it helps to see any reviews of the provider. But reviews should always be taken with a grain of salt, given they can easily be faked.

Take the time to talk with a few potential SEO service providers, and truly understand what each one brings to the table. On that basis, choose the one you feel you can trust the most.