Let’s compare myTax and other tax return options: What’s the best one for you?
The ATO advertises a tax “product” called myTax – another way to self-prepare your tax return.
As a taxpayer it is hard to know what to do. What is the best tax return and what are the alternatives?
Let’s compare the most popular tax return options including the ATO’s myTax…
- Do your tax return online in minutes
- See your deductions from last year, so you won’t forget
- Stuck? No problem – we’re always ready to help on live chat and phone (with a real accountant who’s on your side)
- Deduction tips (based on your job) help to boost your refund
- Tax returns for all taxpayers, from students, to your 1st job, to high income executives
- Less reading: Choose the bits you need and hide the bits you don’t need
- Your tax return is checked by accountants before lodgement
- Get friendly help with ATO audits, ATO letters or amended returns
- You can feel confident that your taxes were checked and done right
- The low fees are tax deductible
- You have to register all your personal details on the Government’s myGov website before you start myTax
- Hard to be confident you’ve done it right, difficult to know if you’re missing out on tax deductions
- Limited support, no help from people who are on your side
- Saving on tax agent fees by using ‘free’ ATO tools like myTax could mean you get a smaller tax refund. (And tax agent fees are tax deductible anyway.)
- No checking by an accountant – make a mistake and you’re on your own with ATO auditors
- If you have to lodge an amendment to fix a mistake, you will need a tax agent
- ATO audit or troubles? If you used myTax, you are on your own
- The ATO’s real job is to collect more tax (more about that down below)
Old-Fashioned Tax Agent’s Office
- An office appointment and travel could take 1 hour or more
- Must take all of your tax info and papers with you… let’s hope you don’t leave something at home
- You get advice when you’re there, but typically little or no support after you leave
- You might not get advice directly from a qualified accountant
- Cost of visiting a Tax Agent office can be expensive; advertised prices are low, yet the average amount you pay may be much higher
Who uses a tax agent service? Most Australians do
In fact, 74% of returns are lodged with a tax agent.
It seems pretty clear that the ATO hopes more people will use myTax. How does the ATO promote that message?
Over the years, the ATO spends taxpayer dollars, on “market research” plus advertising and PR agencies. They pay money to get articles into your favourite newspaper, created by media agencies and paid for by you. They also pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to agencies that gather “likes” on social media. All of this is detailed in the ATO’s annual report. They even put curriculum into schools where kids do assignments about myTax.
The ATO keeps repeating the message, that people should use myTax.
That’s funny, because the fact is, most Australians prefer to use a tax agent like Etax.
People use a tax agent service because…
- Confidence your return is done right
- A tax agent is looking out for your interests, helping you avoid ATO trouble and trying to improve your tax refund
- The ATO’s rules are so complex that only an expert has time to take it all in
- Using an agent is easier and faster than worrying about it yourself
- It is affordable, just one mistake avoided can pay for itself, and the fees are tax-deductible
- NEW: You can use a mobile app to save receipts and documents to your Etax account, so you will remember to claim at tax time
The ATO’s main job is to collect tax money – not to give it back
If you paid for work-related expenses that could get you a better refund, with the ATO you’re on your own. The ATO’s job is not to help you to boost your tax refund or help you with tax advice before you lodge your return.
Across Australia, more than 20,000 ATO employees work every day to enforce 5,743 pages of tax rules. Their job is to collect more tax revenue and to enforce tax laws. The ATO releases new warnings almost every month, about new “compliance priorities” and new triggers that can cause an audit on your taxes.
But helping you get a fair go is a tax agent’s job. That’s why most Australians use a tax agent – and it’s why most of us ignore ATO ads telling us to self-prepare our taxes on myTax.
Who do you trust when you do your taxes?
Using a tax agent like Etax.com.au means you get all the online convenience, plus you’ll have the confidence in knowing your return was done right and that you’ve got the best possible refund.
Wouldn’t you rather think about how to spend your refund, and leave the tax homework to an expert?
At Etax.com.au, we think we’ve got a pretty good service, but don’t just take it from us! Here are some results of our client survey:
Australia’s Canstar Blue awards Etax the “Most Satisfied Customers” Award for Tax Agents in 2018
Reviews of Etax
Thousands of Etax clients post their ratings and reviews and it is truly rewarding for all of our people at Etax. We collect feedback and ideas from users, then get to work on improving every year. Thanks everyone for your feedback, ideas and support.
Fantastic, great communication, easy to use. Friendly reminder for the new year. Remembers my details. Would highly recommend. Love how easy it is to upload photos.
—Ness76, from Product Review, July 2018
“Saves me so much time & stress each year” I have used this service for the past few years. Never experienced a problem, always receive my refund in good turnaround & the communication from the online Accountants is efficient & prompt. Highly recommend.
—Jules H, from Product Review, July 2018
“Perfect” very easy to use and the best thing is they check over it for you and you can complete this anywhere there communications are 100% not faulted for the past 3 years.
—Laurence, from Product Review, July 2018
This service is amazing. They keep your details handy from last year to prompt you with your current return. I actually don’t mind doing a tax return any more. Thanks Etax for the best online service a person can possibly get.
—Kazz, from Product Review, July 2018
Very easy to understand and use. I have recommended Etax to other members of my family and friends. The best thing is that the Etax representatives will go over my details before lodging with ATO to see if I have missed anything.
—Georgie, from Product Review, July 2018