Do you have a friend who seems unfazed by doing their taxes? (Wouldn’t that be nice!) You might have wondered,
“Can I just get my friend do my taxes for me?”
Okay, the basic answer is a firm “no”.
There are some important reasons you should not pass your taxes over to a friend.
But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to do your return all by yourself! We’ll get to that at the end.
Why not get your tax return done by a friend?
1. Your TFN Will Be More Vulnerable
If you’ve considered, “Can my friend do my tax return?” chances are you trust them very much. But even so, it’s better not to entrust them with your personal details – including your tax file number (TFN).
Why not? Well even if your friend is 100% trustworthy, this statistic is still true: Every time you share your TFN with someone else, it doubles the chances it could be stolen or hacked. It could be stolen from your friend’s email, computer, desk, mobile, wallet, etc. Every place it is stored or shared adds more risk for you.
So from a security perspective, it’s better not to share your personal details and TFN with anyone, not even your friends and relatives. Only share your TFN with your tax agent (like Etax.com.au), your employer, your bank and your super fund.
2. You Could Miss Out On Deductions
Have you ever had an experience doing your tax return when a question or something else jogged your memory, and you suddenly realised you had a receipt for an extra deduction you could claim?
Sometimes, it’s only while you’re doing your tax return that you remember to claim extra expenses. And each one means more money in your pocket.
If your friend does your tax return for you, they won’t have these moments. After all, they didn’t spend the money. You did. This means that asking your friend to do your tax return could mean you miss out on extra money at tax time.
3. The Buck Stops With You
No matter how good your friend is at filling out your tax return, they’re still human. They could make a mistake. Or they might not declare something because they forgot to ask you about it.
The point is, when it comes to your tax return, you are personally responsible. If there’s a problem with your return, the ATO won’t come knocking on your friend’s door. They’ll be knocking on your door. (Unless you use an agent like Etax who helps take care of ATO problems.)
Most Australians Use a Tax Agent – Here’s Why
Surveys (and the ATO’s own figures) show that over 74% of tax returns are done through a tax agent.
This includes tax agents you have to visit at a local office, as well as online services like Etax which provides full tax agent services via a secure, convenient, easy-to-use website.
Most Australians prefer to use a tax agent for several reasons:
- Using a registered agent helps keep your details safe
- Your tax agent knows the right questions to ask to help you claim more deductions
- It gives you the confidence your return is done right
- A tax agent is on your side, helping you deal with the ATO
- And if you use an online tax agent like Etax.com.au, it’s even faster and easier!
As you can see, while your friend technically could do your tax return, it’s a much better idea to enlist the help of a tax agent instead.
Is it worth a tax agent fee?
Because a tax agent helps you find tax deductions and avoid mistakes, their low fee is usually less than the amount you gain by using an agent. By finding just one extra, legitimate deduction a tax agent can put more money in your pocket that you would otherwise have got from the ATO. Plus, the tax agent fee is a tax deduction!
With Etax’s fast online tax agent service starting at only $68.90, you really can’t afford not to use a tax agent.
For 2018, Canstar Blue surveyed over three thousand Australian consumers: They said Etax is #1 for value and #1 for overall customer satisfaction!