The pros and cons of hiring a tax agent for your income tax return in Australia

The arena of income tax returns in Australia is often a complex web that requires time, patience, and a good grasp of the ever-evolving tax laws. This complexity often prompts individuals to seek the aid of a tax agent. While these professionals can offer undeniable expertise, the decision to hire one is not always straightforward. There are several factors to consider, each with its own implications.

In this blog, we'll delve into an insightful analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a tax agent for your income tax return in Australia. Our objective is to furnish you with the necessary information to decide if a tax professional is the right solution for your tax needs, ultimately enabling you to make an educated decision that suits your personal circumstances best.

Key takeaways

  • Hiring a tax agent in Australia saves time, reduces errors, provides personalized advice, and ensures compliance with tax laws.
  • Tax agents handle complexity, offer extended deadlines, and build long-term relationships to maximize financial benefits.
  • Communication challenges, time investment, and potential privacy concerns are cons to consider when hiring professionals.
  • Zedplus offers a hassle-free tax return experience with user-friendly tools and stringent data security.

What is a registered tax agent?

In Australia, a registered tax agent is an expert endorsed by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) to deliver tax-related services. These professionals excel in calculating tax liabilities, submitting forms, and offering tax advice. Registration with the TPB guarantees that these agents maintain requisite professional standards in qualification, experience, and ethical behavior.

Choosing a registered tax agent assures consumer protection, with the option to report any concerns to the TPB. Before engaging them, it is crucial to discuss the range of services they can offer to align mutual expectations.

Pros of hiring a tax agent in Australia?


Engaging a tax agent streamlines your tax return process. They are well-versed in tax law, know how to navigate the system efficiently, and are proficient in preparing and lodging your return.

While a DIY approach might seem more economical, it can be time-consuming, especially when dealing with complex financial situations. A tax agent's expertise can make the process quicker and more straightforward, leaving you with more time to focus on other important aspects of your life.

Access to extended deadlines:

One advantage of using a tax agent is the access to extended deadlines for lodging your tax return. The usual October 31st deadline does not apply when using a tax agent, and you could have until May the following year to lodge your return.

This extended timeframe can be beneficial, particularly for individuals with complex tax situations, as it provides extra time to ensure all details are accurate and all possible deductions have been identified and claimed.

Need more time to lodge your tax return?

With ZedPlus, you can have until May the following year.

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Personalised advice:

Everyone's financial situation is unique, and so should be their tax strategy. A tax agent, having an understanding of your finances, can provide tailored advice to maximise your tax return. They can suggest tax strategies based on your income, expenses, and financial goals.

This personalised advice can make a substantial difference in your tax outcome. Over time, these incremental benefits can lead to significant financial gains, making the services of a tax agent a valuable asset.

Complexity management:

Financial situations can be complex, especially if you have multiple sources of income like different jobs, investment portfolios, rental properties, or a business.

A tax agent can handle the intricacies of these multiple income streams, ensuring you claim all relevant deductions and credits. This expertise not only simplifies the process but also ensures you're not paying more tax than necessary.

Error reduction:

Mistakes in tax returns can lead to penalties or audits by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). With their comprehensive knowledge of tax laws and regulations, tax agents can significantly reduce the likelihood of errors in your return.

They ensure all information is accurate, all eligible deductions are claimed, and all rules are followed. This meticulous approach minimises the risk of future complications with the ATO, providing you with an added layer of security and peace of mind.

Updated knowledge of tax laws:

Tax laws and regulations frequently change. As professionals, tax agents stay abreast of these changes, ensuring your return is compliant with the latest laws. This continuous learning and professional development mean agents are always up-to-date with the tax environment.

Their knowledge protects you from unintentionally breaking any new laws or missing out on new opportunities for deductions or credits. It's this knowledge that provides another compelling reason to engage their reliable services.

Long-term relationship benefits:

Establishing a long-term relationship with a tax agent enables them to develop a profound understanding of your financial landscape and goals. As life progresses and changes occur, such as starting a new business venture, investing in real estate, or stepping into retirement, your agent will be equipped with a comprehensive knowledge of your financial history.

This allows them to adapt your tax strategy seamlessly to your evolving circumstances. With time, the benefits of this sustained relationship increase progressively.


While there is a cost associated with hiring an agent, it can often be an investment that pays for itself. First, the fees paid to a tax agent are generally tax-deductible. Additionally, their expertise in identifying deductions and credits can lead to a larger return than you might have achieved on your own. Therefore, the value of an agent often outweighs the cost, making them a smart investment.

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Cons of hiring a tax agent for your income tax return

Communication challenges:

Miscommunication can happen in any professional relationship, and the partnership with a tax agent is no exception. Given the complexity and ever-changing nature of tax laws, there's a possibility of misinterpretation or misunderstanding of information.

This can lead to incorrect filing of tax returns or overlooked deductions, both of which can impact the individual's financial standing. Additionally, the effort to rectify such mistakes can result in further stress and financial loss.

Time investment:

Even when you hire a tax agent, the tax filing process requires your time. Collecting necessary documents, verifying the information, and discussing the details with the agent all require dedicated time slots from your schedule.

For individuals with demanding professional or personal commitments, this could be a downside as they need to balance their routine with these additional requirements. Although the agent does most of the heavy lifting, the initial time investment is inevitable.

Risk of incompetence or unethical practices:

The possibility, although minimal, of encountering a less competent or unethical tax agent does exist. An incompetent agent might not have the latest knowledge about tax regulations, leading to inaccurate tax filings.

Unethical agents, on the other hand, might involve clients in fraudulent practices, potentially leading to legal issues or financial losses. In such cases, the individual not only loses money but also peace of mind, leading to further distress.


Relying extensively on a tax agent can lead to a level of dependence that might pose problems in the future. If circumstances change and the individual needs to handle tax matters independently – due to a move, financial issues, or unavailability of the agent – this could be difficult. Being familiar with one's tax responsibilities is important and total dependence on an agent might hinder the development of this critical skill.

Privacy concerns:

Engaging a tax agent necessitates sharing detailed personal and financial information. For those uncomfortable with sharing such sensitive data, this could be a cause for concern.

While professional agents are bound by confidentiality rules, the risk of data breaches or misuse of information cannot be completely eliminated. This potential compromise on privacy could be a significant downside for some individuals when hiring an agent.

Evaluating your needs: Do You need a tax agent for your income tax return?

Deciding whether or not to hire a tax agent often comes down to understanding your financial situation and the complexity of your tax affairs. If your financial situation involves various income sources, investments, or business interests, a tax agent can help you navigate your tax obligations.

However, if you are comfortable dealing with numbers, understand the Australian tax system well, and are willing to spend time keeping up with tax law changes, you might be able to manage your taxes yourself.

Key considerations for hiring a reliable tax agent

When deciding to hire a tax agent, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the right professional to handle your tax matters. Here are few important facts to consider:

Assessing the professional reputation:

The professional reputation of a tax agent significantly influences their reliability. A robust reputation is often the result of positive experiences and satisfactory outcomes relayed by previous clients. One should take into account the recommendations from friends, family, or online reviews. Check for any formal complaints registered against the agent to gauge their credibility.

Verifying professional credentials:

Credentials of a tax agent serve as a testament to their competence in tax matters. It's crucial to verify that they are registered with a credible professional body, for example, the TPB in Australia. Such registration implies that they have passed rigorous assessments and uphold the mandatory standard of qualifications and experience.

Identifying area of specialisation:

The agent's specialisation should cater to your particular taxation needs. If you own a business, you'd benefit from an agent proficient in handling business taxes. Likewise, if you have unique income circumstances, it would be beneficial to seek a tax professional specialised in those specific areas, ensuring the most effective and tailored tax assistance.

Evaluating proactive approach:

An ideal tax agent should exhibit a high level of initiative. They should be proactive in reaching out when more information or documents are needed. This proactive approach helps expedite the processing of your tax return while enhancing its accuracy.

Scrutinising qualifications:

The qualifications of a tax agent are a critical aspect to examine. It's imperative to select an agent whose credentials render them capable of handling your tax matters proficiently. Engaging unqualified agents could lead to severe tax complications in the future.

Ensuring compliance:

Lastly, it's critical to ensure that your chosen tax professional prioritises compliance with tax laws and regulations. This adherence to compliance shields you from potential legal complications with tax authorities. Your tax matters should be managed in a manner that abides by all relevant laws and rules to avoid any potential issues.

Need help understanding your tax situation better?

Try our online tax return calculator.

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Making the right decision: Questions to ask before hiring a tax agent

Here are some essential questions you might ask a potential registered tax agent before hiring them for your business in Australia:


Are you registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)? Can you provide your registration number for verification?


What is your area of expertise? How does that align with my business needs?


How many years of experience do you have as a registered tax agent? Have you worked with businesses similar to mine?


Specifically, what services do you provide? Can you assist with bookkeeping, tax planning, lodgment of Business Activity Statements (BAS), Income tax returns, Goods and services tax (GST), and other tax obligations?

Software familiarity:

What accounting software do you use? Is it compatible with the system my business uses?


How will we communicate and how often? What's your usual response time?


How do you charge for your services? Is it a flat fee, hourly rate, or a percentage of the refund? Are there any additional charges I should be aware of?


Can you provide references from other clients, preferably from similar businesses?

Continuous learning:

Taxation laws and regulations can change frequently. How do you stay updated with the latest laws and regulations in Australia?

Audit support:

In case of an audit by the Australian Tax Office, how will you assist my business?


How do you ensure the confidentiality and security of my business's financial information?

Want a hassle-free tax return experience? What makes Zedplus your ideal choice?

Searching for a dependable, streamlined tax return solution? Look no further than Zedplus. As a registered online tax agent, we deftly navigate through the maze of Australian tax acts, ensuring your returns are both accurate and compliant.

Our user-friendly Online Tax Return Calculator simplifies your tax planning process, while our stringent security measures safeguard your data.

But our services extend beyond just tax returns. We offer a comprehensive suite of financial services, including bookkeeping, business setup, and payroll processing. With fixed price packages, real-time reporting, and guaranteed confidentiality, Zedplus is your reliable partner for all financial needs.

Ending note

The decision to hire a tax agent in Australia is a personal one, influenced by the complexity of your financial condition your comfort with tax matters, and the value you place on your time.

While an agent can provide expert advice, extended filing deadlines, and peace of mind, it's essential to be aware of potential challenges such as communication issues and privacy concerns. If you decide to engage a tax agent, ensure they are registered, experienced, and align with your specific needs.

With Zedplus, you get more than just a tax agent; you gain a trusted partner committed to simplifying your tax return process and maximizing your financial benefits. Our comprehensive suite of services, user-friendly tools, and stringent security measures make us an ideal choice for your tax needs in Australia.

If you're ready to take the stress out of your tax return process or if you have any questions about our services, don't hesitate to reach out to us. At Zedplus, we're always ready to assist you.

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