FAQs

Value for money tax accountants

Below are answers to some of the most common tax return, small business and financial planning questions our accountants get asked.
When do I need to lodge an individual tax return?

Your tax return can be lodged after 30 June each year, with 31 October being the deadline for submission. However, if Clear Tax is registered with the ATO as your tax agent, you will generally be granted an extension to 15 May the following year.

Can’t I just do my tax return myself?

Even if your tax affairs are relatively straightforward, it still pays to work with a professional accountant in order to make sure the process is done thoroughly and that you receive all the deductions to which you are entitled. It also helps to remove the stress, and ensures you don’t inadvertently receive any fines or penalties.

Can I claim deductions on my personal tax return?

Any expenses that you incur as part of your job or employment can be claimed as a tax deduction. In this way, you reduce your liabilities and, if you have paid more tax than you were liable for, you may be entitled to receive a tax refund. Our tax accountants can advise you as to any specific deductions you are entitled to claim.

What do I do if I have not lodged a previous tax return?

If you have missed a previous year’s tax deadline, get in touch with Clear Tax Melbourne as soon as possible. We can determine your status with the ATO and whether you have had any penalties imposed and, if necessary, devise strategies that might minimise any late fees and get you back up to date.

What should I do if I have both overdue individual returns, as well as returns for a partnership, company or trust?

As we are highly experienced personal and business accountants, we can prepare all of your tax returns at the same time — there is no need to make separate appointments or work with a different accountant for each.

What is a Second Look Assessment?

A second look assessment is usually requested when there is disagreement over a tax assessment, or a refund is deemed to be insufficient. If you think you have not claimed all available deductions, or not received the size of refund you are entitled to, contact Clear Tax and our team will be happy to arrange a second look assessment. If we discover that errors have been made, we will lodge an amendment on your behalf to claim back any money you are owed.

What is the right structure for my new business?

There is a range of options available to anyone starting a new business with regard to how it is structured for tax and accounting purposes. It might be the right choice to set up as a company, or a trust, or operating as a sole trader might be more appropriate. Our specialist business accountants will work with you to create an entity and business structure that is right for your specific circumstances.

What do I need to do to get business financing?

In order to get funding from a financial institution, you will need to show a potential lender your current financial status and plans for the business. Clear Tax can work with you to prepare a budget, cash flow analysis and forecast, a profit and loss projection, and any other documentation that a start up or new business requires to get access to finance.

Can you help me to buy an existing business?

When you are in the market to buy an existing business, it is important to have as clear an understanding of its financial position and tax liabilities as possible. Clear Tax business advisers will work with you in areas such as sales and profit projections, and structuring the business, so that you have the best passible chance of success.

What sort of business expenses can I claim as deductions?

It is generally the case that any expenses you incur in the operation of your business can be claimed as tax deductions, e.g., costs associated with running a work vehicle, maintenance or repair of assets, etc. Some home office costs can also be deducted if you are required to work from home. However, it’s important to remember that any expenses you claim must be related to your work and business, not your personal or private use. You also need to maintain thorough records so as to be able to substantiate any claims.

Are a sole trader and company tax return the same?

When you’re a sole trader, you and your business are considered as one, e.g., you have a single, shared Tax File Number (TFN) and Australian Business Number (ABN). If you are set up as a company, you and the business are separate entities when it comes to TFN and ABN. Each of these business structures has distinct pros and cons. If you are not sure which is most appropriate for you, Clear Tax business accountants are on hand to share their experience and advice.

Can I claim small business entity concessions?

If you are a sole trader, partnership, company or trust that is considered by the ATO to be a small business entity, you may be entitled to a range of concessions depending on your turnover. Your eligibility is reviewed every year, so speak to one of our advisers about your current status, or to find out what small business entity concessions you might be able to claim.

Why is tax management important?

Efficient tax management will help you to manage your business’ risk and exposure, and minimise your liabilities, meaning that you can operate more profitably and on a more stable, sustainable footing. In addition, careful planning in order to reduce the size of a forthcoming tax bill can also give you a greater understanding of the expenses your business incurs and how this impacts on cash flow.

How do I set up a not-for-profit (NFP) organisation?

The structure of a NFP organisation is all important, particularly with regard to issues like its charitable status, who sits on its board, its aims and constitution, etc. If you are considering establishing a charity or another type of NFP organisation (e.g., a sporting club or cultural association), speak to the specialists at Clear Tax to ensure you have the right structure in place and are compliant with all current legislation. 

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