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James Millar
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Paul – FS Concierge, post: 244897, member: 78928 wrote:
Hi James,

I have never really received any tax planning advice at all. I have effectively only ever paid for tax preparation services and this has ranged from $4K+ for business and personal tax to $1K.

Overall it has been a pretty negative experience from tax minimisation point of view – I am sure there are a lot of deductions I am entitled too and have never made.

Paul, I think your experience is typical of most. Part of the problem also relates to old school fee structures where advisers would charge strictly by the hour for all work. Not surprisingly this approach tends to discourage clients from requesting any form of extra tax planning. They have no idea of the upside but are certain about the downside (cost).

Times have changed somewhat. There are a lot of accountants that now charge by fixed fee and often they include structured tax planning in packages (we certainly do and we are not the only ones). Fees haven’t increased either. We can afford to include these extra services because of the efficiencies
gained in other areas (cloud accounting etc.). So, the moral of the story is that you should be getting a different (better) service for the same price than you were say 7 to 10 years ago.

It’s a shame because there are some exceptionally good small accounting firms out there and with the right level of engagement they can make a real difference in after tax results in the short, medium and long term. On a longer term basis, even retirement planning strategies can save tens to hundreds of thousands.

Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900