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INPRACTICE     6 tips for tax agents

TAXATION

6 tips for tax agents

August 2019

  1. Watch out for client data that does not include private health insurance payments, particularly for couples. This is the first year that private health insurers are not required to provide the information, although most are doing so. However, agents are reporting that sometimes the data is not showing up in pre-fills, particularly in the case of couples, where one person pays the premiums and these are shown in their account only. You may wish to encourage your clients to share with you their private health insurance statement or ask them to seek that statement from their insurer.

  2. SMSF auditors need to check the lists provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The ATO has warned it has detected instances of potentially fraudulent use of SMSF auditor numbers by tax agents and will refer these agents to the Tax Practitioners Board and consider prosecution.

  3. The ATO has reminded tax agents they may not use myTax as an approved lodgment channel to lodge tax returns on behalf of clients. Your clients do not need to give you their personal myGov login details to access their information. Tax agents should use Online services for agents.

  4. The introduction of the low and middle income tax offset is a good opportunity to engage with your clients and encourage them to make an earlier appointment with you. This can assist in managing your lodgement schedules and ensuring your clients lodge on time.

  5. You can see all your clients’ obligations on the ‘for action’ screen in Online services for agents. This includes upcoming, due or overdue lodgments or outstanding payments. You can also view payment plans already in place.

  6. Your clients may have concerns about the size of their annual PAYG instalments and the June quarter. Encourage them to visit you so that you can vary or lodge the return before mid-October. You may wish to ask them if they have any estimates of their income for the June quarter to ensure the variation is correctly calculated.