10 questions to ask your accountant before June 30

Published: Friday, June 07, 2019


Words by Maureen Jordan

Here are 10 questions to ask your accountant before June 30. I suggest you add any others you think of and take this list with you when you meet with your accountant as soon as possible before the end of this month. This way you can make the most of the meeting that you’ll be paying for – one that hopefully is tax deductible! 

1. Can you give me an idea of what my taxable income will be this financial year? I want to see how much tax I could be paying.

2. OK, it looks like I’m going to pay quite a lot of tax. I’d like to know how I can legally reduce this amount.

3. What contributions should my partner and I be making to superannuation this year?

4. My spouse doesn’t earn very much income and I’ve heard about this co-contribution payment to super. My spouse’s income is less than $38,000. I’ve heard that if I make a contribution of $1,000 to their superannuation that ScoMo will put in $500 as well. Is this true?

5. A friend told me about something called a spousal contribution to super if your income is under $37,000. If I make a $3,000 contribution for my spouse, ScoMo will give me a $540 rebate. Can you explain this to me in more detail but in simple terms?

6. I use my home office all the time for work. Please let me know what expenses I can claim without putting myself in a position where I might have to pay capital gains tax if I sell my home one day.

7. As you know I run a business. It’s a partnership and has been for years and we’ve never discussed whether there’s a better structure. When should I set myself as a company? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Do you have a list of these? What structure would you recommend?

8. Do you have an End of Financial Year checklist that you can give me so I can make sure that I’m claiming everything I’m entitled to claim?

9. It looks like I’m going to pay a lot of tax this year and I don’t have the cash to take advantage of some of the things you recommend doing. It’s too late this year but I want to plan better for the next financial year. Will you please book me in now for a meeting every three or four months to show me how I’m going so I can plan better for the financial year 2020? I don’t want to sit here in 12 months’ time and be in the same position. What will you charge me for these meetings? Who will be in these meetings because I don’t want someone who has limited experience and could be here today, gone tomorrow.

10. I received a call from the Australian Tax Office yesterday on my mobile phone. I hung up because I thought it might be a scam. Would the ATO normally call me like this when your name is down as my accountant? Does the ATO let accountants know about these possible scams so they can advise their clients to hang up immediately and not get sucked in?

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