Are my accountant’s tax tips legit?

Dear Aunty B,

My accountant has suggested a number of aggressive tax maneuvers and I have absolutely no idea if they are above board or not. I asked him if they were and he replied that it depended on your point of view and laughed. He said a lot of his clients were doing similar things and had no problem.

Do I take his word for it?

Leonie,
NSW

Dear Leonie,

No, you do not. While accounting is a very upstanding profession that does not mean it is inhabited by crooks – like every other profession for that matter.

You obviously read SmartCompany and it cannot have escaped your attention the many stories we do is on staying on the right side of the taxman and the consequences of not doing so.

Of course, there is a difference between tax minimalisation and tax avoidance but on occasion that can be a fine line.

Here is what you must do. Ask a respected business associate for the name of their accountant. Take his suggestions to that accountant. Take into account the fact that accountants can have different views. And if in doubt be conservative.

From day one I told my company accountant: no funny business. I had a simple reason for that. I would rather spend my energies growing revenue and profit than worrying about audits, fines and jail.

If you are not comfortable with the level of service and the suggestions coming from your accountant, change. Quite frankly Leonie, you should have the same level of comfort with your accountant as your hairdresser.

Good luck!
Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!

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