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Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

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Old 13-09-11
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Default Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

Hi guys,

As a recent new owner of a small business I have become a little lost when it comes to my personal tax affairs. Traditionally, I have just handed a pile of papers to my tax agent come tax time and held my breath to see what happens.

This year I would like to me more organised. I would like to find some professional help to navigate when it comes to things like dividends and expenses however I am not what I should be looking for.

Do I need an accountant who specialises in the personal tax affairs of small business owners of should I be looking for a Financial Advisor who can help? Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Thanks!

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Old 14-09-11
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Default Re: Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

Hi Jason,

As a general rule, only a registered tax agent can provide tax agent services, perhaps the most common of which is the preparation and lodgement of tax returns. There are some exceptions, like lawyers who can provide advice concerning taxation laws and BAS agents who can prepare and lodge the business activity statement.

A financial advisor is not a tax agent (unless they also hold registration as such), and the same holds true for accountants. Accordingly, if your principal purpose is to have your tax prepared, you need to see an adviser who is a registered tax agent.

An accountant or lawyer, who is also a registered tax agent, is best placed to help you with your tax and general business planning. There are plenty floating around this site, including my firm, Avenue Solutions.

Hope this helps.

Richard

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Old 14-09-11
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Default Re: Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

With regards to tax planning, it is really good to see your accountant before the end of the financial year. So now is a great time to talk about this coming financial year and setting you up in a way that benefits you the most.
That is the value a tax accountant can create. Once the year is over, you are pretty much stuck.
For your business, you really want to know where you are at throughout the year. That is where professional bookkeeping provides value. And as Richard said, if you select a bookkeeper that is a registered BAS agent, you get all your BAS returns done reliably as well.
Alexander

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Old 14-09-11
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Default Re: Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

A great question

Both could offer advice but for me a financial advisor is a personal and longer term resource that helps with achieving financial goals into the future (building personal wealth), while a tax accountant is a resource that assists in making sure statutory business (and personal) tax obligations are met. As Richard mentions - there are some that cross over where qualified to do so.

A good accountant can be very helpful in advising on financial business matters and should also help in legally minimising your tax obligations (some just complete returns).

As mentioned by Alexander – good to get hold of your accountant well before year end and work out best options for your business model. The advice on a bookkeeper is also spot on, and a good bookkeeper will also be able to give you info on your financials to make decisions from (some just process the data).

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Old 23-09-11
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Default Re: Tax Accountant vs. Financial advisor

Many thanks for your help Richard, Alexander and Harry!

Thanks for the great source of information and direction.

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