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Strong demand for better returns in 2016 tax season

THE 2015 tax season saw more than 74 per cent of lodgers used a tax agent, with an estimated seven million taxpayers receiving $15 billion worth of refunds, figures from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) reveal.

H&R Block Tasmania general manager Steve Hinton said there was no doubt the benefit of registered tax agents was getting through to taxpayers.

“Registered tax agents ensure taxpayers get their tax return correct, avoid penalties and guarantee they get all they are legally entitled to,” he said.

“Tax agents are attracting more clients who recognise they need to avoid the issues they often face when preparing their own returns.”

Common challenges faced when lodging a tax return include being up-to-date with ever-changing tax laws and changing tax return forms, difficulty navigating through the ATO’s website and MyGov to determine the correct treatment of tax issues, as well as heightened danger of audits and penalties if mistakes are made.

Mr Hinton said there were a number of ways that a registered tax agent could maximise a tax refund.

“Your tax agent should complete a thorough interview, ensuring all income is declared, maximising all deductions and checking entitlements to any rebates or tax offsets,” he said.

“They should explain the records you are required to have to verify claims in this year’s tax return, as well as fully explain the substantiation rules, what records you need and how long you should keep them.

“Finally, your tax agent should also give you guidance about things you may be able to do to improve the claims you can make for next year’s tax return.”

For more information, visit www.hrblock.com.au or phone 6224 0817.