Welcome to Western Suburb Accountants !!


Frequently Asked Questions

Whether this is your first time working with WS Accountants, you might have a few questions about working with us. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to assist you.

Accounting and Tax - FAQ

How long do I have to keep my receipts for?

Generally, you must keep your evidence for five years from the date you lodge your tax return.

I need to set up a new Company or Trust. Can you help me?

Yes, we can assist you with the establishment of all types of entities, as well as applying for ABNs, Tax File Numbers, GST Registrations and PAYG Withholding. We can also advise you of what type of entity will best suit your circumstances.

I found an error in my tax return and it is already lodged. What do I need to do?

You may contact our office to discuss the error and we can assist you in amending your tax return, if required. We will lodge the amended return with the ATO. The ATO can take up to its standard 28 days to process your return. Alternatively, you can contact the ATO directly and they will advise you of the necessary steps to resolve the error. This may include writing a formal letter to the ATO explaining your reasons for the amendment request.

Why use a Registered Tax Agent?

Registered Tax Agents are regulated by the Tax Practitioners Board and are required to have a certain level of qualifications and experience in preparing a variety of tax returns to gain their registration. Tax Agents are required to have professional indemnity insurance and must adhere to a code of professional conduct. By using a Registered Tax Agent, you are ensuring that your return is being prepared by a suitably qualified person. Furthermore, please note that there is no protection for taxpayers who use unregistered tax or BAS agents. You can see whether a Tax Agent is registered by searching on www.tpb.gov.au.

When is the due date to lodge my personal tax return?

If you prepare your own tax return without a Registered Tax Agent, the due date is 31 October. By using a Registered Tax Agent, you may be eligible for extensions up to 15 May of the following year. However, this depends on your level of income and lodgement history. If you have not used a Registered Tax Agent in the past, you will need to contact us at info@safeaccountants.com.au prior to 31 October.

Is it difficult to change from my accountant if I decide to use your services?

No. In most cases it is a fairly simple transition. For individuals, we can access your data via the ATO tax portal online. For businesses, we only need a copy of your last year’s tax return lodged and financial statements to allow us to complete the current financial year. Other records are not required. As such, it is not difficult to change accountants like it would be for banks. Also, the advantage of changing accountants will give the new accountant an opportunity to highlight issues and opportunities not dealt by your old accountant. Therefore, a fresh set of eyes looking over your tax affairs will give you comfort and peace of mind.

I have a number of years outstanding, can you help me?

Yes, we can definitely help you. Our mission is to help our clients bring themselves up to the date with the ATO. We not only help you prepare and lodge your tax returns, we also take one further step to communicate with the ATO to remove any late lodgement penalties which is likely to be applied to your income tax account with the Tax Office. Please contact us at info@safeaccountants.com for further information and assistance.

Are you able to see me after business hours as I work full-time?

Yes, we do offer a mobile service depending on location. Alternatively, you may wish contact us at info@safeaccountants.com.au to make an appointment to meet at my office.

How long will it take to prepare my tax returns?

It can take between 30mins to 1 hour depending on the information you provide. We have a checklist for you to ensure that you have all the relevant documents ready for us to complete your return efficiently.

Can I send you my records rather than come into your office?

Yes, you can email, fax or mail your information using our details on our Contact Us page. This is referred to our ‘Online’ Service, conveniently offered to clients that simply do not have the time to visit an accountant or prefer to manage their tax affairs online. As soon as we receive your records, we will notify you by either telephone or email. We will then proceed with preparing your tax return and send you a copy for approval and sign off prior to lodgement with the Tax Office.

What do I need for a tax return?

Income/Earnings Documents

  • ✓ PAYG Payment Summaries (Group Certificates)
  • ✓ Bank Interest Details
  • ✓ Payment Summaries from Centrelink
  • ✓ Superannuation Lump Sum Statements
  • ✓ Superannuation Income Stream Statements
  • ✓ Dividends Statements
  • ✓ Share Transaction Statements
  • ✓ Partnership & Trust Distributions
  • ✓ Managed Fund Statements
  • ✓ Capital Gains Details – Investment Property Sales, etc
  • ✓ Foreign Sourced Income and Pensions
  • ✓ Sole Trader (ABN) Income Details
  • ✓ Investment Property Income Details
Deductable Expenses
  • ✓ Motor Vehicle Expenses
  • ✓ Travel Expenses
  • ✓ Compulsory Uniform, Protective Clothing, Occupation Specific Clothing, Dry Cleaning.
  • ✓ Self-Education Expenses
  • ✓ Other Work Related Expenses
  • ✓ Asset Purchase Details – Computer, Tools, Equipment, etc
  • ✓ Investment Related Expenses
  • ✓ Donations to Charity Organisations
  • ✓ Cost of Tax Affairs
  • ✓ Income Protection Insurance Premiums
  • ✓ Superannuation Contribution If Self Employed

  • ✓ Medical Expenses
  • ✓ Private Health Insurance Statement

I have not received all of my PAYG payment summaries (group certificates) yet. Can I lodge a tax return without them?

No. To lodge a tax return, you need to declare all of your employment income. The first thing you need to do is contacting your employers or ex-employers. However, in case you cannot receive, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

I did not earn a large amount of bank interest. I can say that it was about $5. Do I need to include in my tax return? How can I check the exact amount?

Yes. You must declare bank interest income even if it is $1. You can acquire the amount by contacting your bank or checking internet banking if you use it.

Can I receive a tax refund equivalent to full amount of deductions?

No. Deductions only reduce your taxable income. Your tax amount equals taxable income time’s tax rate. Thus, a tax refund increases (or tax liability reduces) by the amount equivalent to an amount of deductions times tax rate.

Can I claim expenses that used for both work and personal use?

Yes. You can claim for items that have both work and personal use as long as the item in question represents a deduction type that is normally allowable. You need to estimate work related percentage reasonably and exclude the amount of private use.

I quitted my job and have no intention to work in this financial year. Can I lodge a tax return now?

No. Even if you do not work anymore in this financial year, you need to wait for 1st July. However, in case you left or are leaving Australia permanently, you can lodge an early tax return before 1st July.

I am likely to pay tax rather than receive refund. Should I lodge a tax return?

Yes, you need to lodge a tax return regardless of an amount of your refund or payment.

I am leaving Australia prior to 30th June. Can I lodge a tax return before 1st July?

Yes. In case you have left or are leaving Australia permanently (not coming back and working within at least 2 years), you can lodge your tax return early. For example, your visa expired and you went back to your country. However you need all of PAYG payment summaries (group certificates) or equivalents as well as bank interest details.

My ex-employers would not provide my PAYG payment summaries (group certificates) early. How can I lodge my early tax return?

The first thing you need to do is contacting your ex-employer. In case you still cannot obtain, you may use your last payslip to apply for your early tax return. However your last payslip must include the following details. -Your Name -Y.T.D Gross Income -Y.T.D Tax Withheld -Employer’s Name -Employer’s ABN -Payment Date.

I heard that I do not need to pay Medicare levy if I am covered by a private hospital insurance. Is it correct?

No. Generally speaking, in case you are covered by private hospital insurance, you may be exempt from Medicare levy surcharge but not Medicare levy.

Is it correct that I do not have to pay Medicare levy if I am not Australian?

Generally speaking, it is correct. If you live in Australia, but are not eligible for Medicare during all, or part of, any financial year, you can claim an exemption from paying the levy. To claim the exemption on your tax return, you must apply for a Medicare levy exemption certificate.We can prepare a Medicare levy exemption certificate.


What is an SMSF or Do-It-Yourself (DIY) superannuation fund?

DIY superannuation fund is an informal name for a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF). Self Managed Super Fund is a superannuation fund that is regulated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and all members of the fund must be trustees of the fund. There are exceptions to this rule, such as, a member who is a minor, or, one who is under legal disability. In such cases, regulatory provisions state that a member of the SMSF cannot be the trustee of the fund.

What is the definition of an SMSF Member?

A member is a person who has contributions made for them or who receives benefits from the fund. In retirement, a member has the option of receiving either lump-sum payment or a pension, or a combination of both.

What is the definition of an SMSF Trustee?

A trustee is a person or a legal entity (corporate trustee) responsible for ensuring the fund is properly managed as set out under the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 (SIS) and all other relevant laws are observed. A SMSF can also have a company as a trustee if each director of the company is a member of the fund. Note: anyone over the age of 18 can be a trustee of a superannuation fund unless they are a "disqualified person" under SISA. An individual is a "disqualified person" if: at any time, the person was convicted of an offense involving dishonesty; or at any time, the person has been subject to a civil penalty order under SISA; or the person is an insolvent under administration (e.g. an undischarged bankrupt). Please notify your service provider before you establish your fund if any applicant for the membership of the fund is a "disqualified person"!

How many different types of SMSF are there?

here are two types of regulated SMSFs. The most common type is usually called "More Than One Member Fund" or "Multiple Member Fund", with a corporate or non-corporate trustee; the other being a "Single Member Fund", again with a corporate or non-corporate trustee.

What are the advantages of an SMSF?

✓ SMSF gives members unique control of their investments within the legal framework
✓ Maximum tax payable on earnings is 15 percent
✓ The tax is payable in the year a gain is realised
✓ SMSFs allow control of the timing for asset disposal, meaning that realisation of gains can be deferred until such time that assets are supporting an Account Based Pension, when the income is taxed at 0%
✓ SMSF is a prerequisite for an Account Based Pension
✓ SMSFs can invest up to 100% of the fund's total assets in "Business Real Property"

Why is SMSF Planning Important?

because, SMSF are a great instrument for providing you withgreater control over your retirement funds.

Is establishment of a SMSF a tax-deductible expense (payable by the superannuation fund)?

No, establishment of an SMSF is an expense of a capital nature!

Can I add members after the fund is already setup? Or do they have to be named when you setup the fund?

You can add members after the fund is setup, however, the fund must have less than five members in total.

Does an SMSF operate like a regular super fund except that I have more control?

SMSF operates exactly as any other super fund, but you have 100% control over it, i.e. you as the Trustee are responsible for how the fund operates, how the money invested, types of investments etc.

Do I have to operate a company or small business before I can setup my SMSF?


Does SMSF have to be resident in Australia?

Resident SMSF receives concessional tax treatment (maximum tax payable on earning is 15%). A non-resident fund is subject to 47% tax on the fund assets.

Can I have my superannuation monies in more than one fund such as an SMSF, in some other types of a fund?

Yes. You can spread your superannuation between funds of your choosing.

Can SMSF invest in share market, derivatives or real estate??

Yes, subject to certain conditions.

What if I want to close down the SMSF?

You can wind down the SMSF and transfer you Super balance to a retail fund or another SMSF. Or you can transfer your SMSF to another administrator or accountant (we work hard to make sure you don’t). As you are the Trustees responsible for the SMSF, the choice how to administer the Fund and who to use as service provider rest with you.

Is my money safe?

Yes. We don’t handle your funds. As the Trustee of your Fund, you control your own funds and decide where to invest.

Mortgage Solution - FAQ

Can I borrow money for stamp duty?

Generally, yes. You can add the stamp duty expense on to the principal amount of your loan. The stamp duty will be paid out of the cash you use as a down-payment on your loan. The amount of stamp duty you owe varies by state and by the value of your home.

How much money can I borrow for a home loan?

How much money you can borrow for a home loan will depend on a number of factors including your employment status, your income (and your partner’s income if you are taking out a joint loan), the size of your deposit, your living expenses and any other debt you might hold, including credit cards.
A good place to start is to work out how much you can afford to make in monthly repayments, factoring in a buffer of at least 2 – 3 per cent to allow for interest rate rises along the way. You’ll also need to factor in additional costs that come with purchasing a property such as stamp duty, legal fees, building inspections, strata or council fees.
If you are planning on renting the property, you can factor in the expected rental income to help offset the mortgage, but again it’s prudent to add a significant buffer to allow for rental management fees, maintenance costs and short periods of no rental income when tenants move out. It’s also wise to factor in changes in personal circumstances – the typical home loan lasts for around 30 years and a lot can happen between now and then.

How much deposit will I need to buy a house?

A deposit of 20 per cent or more is ideal as it’s typically the amount a lender sees as ‘safe’. Being a safe borrower is a good position to be in as you’ll have a range of lenders to pick from, with some likely to offer up a lower interest rate as a reward. Additionally, a deposit of over 20 per cent usually eliminates the need for lender’s mortgage insurance (LMI) which can add thousands to the cost of buying your home.
While you can get a loan with as little as 5 per cent deposit, it’s definitely not the most advisable way to enter the home loan market. Banks view people with low deposits as ‘high risk’ and often charge higher interest rates as a precaution. The smaller your deposit, the more you’ll also have to pay in LMI as it works on a sliding scale dependent on your deposit size.

What is Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI)

Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is an insurance policy, which protects your bank if you default on the loan (i.e. stop paying your loan). While the bank takes out the policy, you pay the premium. Generally you can ‘capitalise’ the premium – meaning that instead of paying it upfront in one hit, you roll it into the total amount you owe, and it becomes part of your regular mortgage repayments.
This additional cost is typically required when you have less than 20 per cent savings, or a loan with an LVR of 80 per cent or higher, and it can run into thousands of dollars. The policy is not transferrable, so if you sell and buy a new house with less than 20 per cent equity, then you’ll be required to foot the bill again, even if you borrow with the same lender.
Some lenders, such as the Commonwealth Bank, charge customers with a small deposit a Low Deposit Premium or LDP instead of LMI. The cost of the premium is included in your loan so you pay it off over time.

How can I pay off my home loan faster?

The quickest way to pay off your home loan is to make regular extra contributions in addition to your monthly repayments to pay down the principal as fast as possible. This in turn reduces the amount of interest paid overall and shortens the length of the loan.
Another option may be to increase the frequency of your payments to fortnightly or weekly, rather than monthly, which may then reduce the amount of interest you are charged, depending on how your lender calculates repayments.

Can I take out a home loan while on a disability pension?

A disability pension is a valid income source for the purpose of making a loan application. As with any loan application the amount of income from a disability pension, or from any other source, factors into the amount you can borrow and affects eventual the terms of the loan.

How much is the mortgage registration fee?

The mortgage registration fee varies from state to state. Generally, mortgage registration fees can be found on each state's or territory's website. If I am unemployed but have rental income is there any way to get a home loan? If rental income is your only source of income, it is likely that a lender will require an additional source of income. Simply being unemployed does not disqualify you from obtaining a mortgage. Having income from rental property will help make qualifying for a mortgage a bit easier.

Is there a difference between a land loan and a regular home loan?

You purchase the land before the house is built When buying the land first you will generally have to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price, with the balance being payable on settlement. This way you will only pay stamp duty on the land, rather than on the construction cost of the house. In this situation, you will need two home loans - one for the land and one for the construction. Progress payments on the mortgage will need to be made at different stages of construction. You buy the house already completed on the developer's land If you decide on this option, all you need to do is give a 5% deposit, with the rest being payable once the home is completed. There are no progress payments with this option, which you can use to your advantage for either renting whilst the home is being built, or saving a larger deposit for the home loan. Research your location and developer Getting an idea of the following will help: _ What experience have they got and how long have they been in business? _ How many packaged homes have they sold? _ Get referrals, and ask the owners if they were satisfied with the workmanship. _ Check on appropriate builder's warranty and insurance cover. _ Check if they offer a fixed price building contract, so you aren't left with unexpected fees.

What Other Costs Should I Account for When Purchasing a Property?

✓ Registration of the mortgage
✓ Stamp Duty on the mortgage
✓ Registration of transfer
✓ Stamp Duty on the property purchase
✓ Land tax

Online Tax Return - FAQ

How long does it take to receive my refund?

The normal processing time is 10-14 working days. However this processing time is subject to ATO.

Can you take the fee from my refund?

Yes. We can deduct the fee from your refund and have the net funds deposited into your nominated bank account with only $20 extra by your choice. This means that you do not need to pay in upfront.

I have not lodged prior year tax returns. Can you also lodge them?

Yes. We can prepare and lodge your prior year tax returns. Any year is accepted. It is recommended that you lodge your outstanding tax returns ASAP. ATO may impose fines for non-lodgement of a tax return.

Do I have to send my PAYG payment summaries (group certificates) to you?

Yes. You need to send your PAYG Summary statement by email or online upload. You must retain them for at least 5 years in case there is a query from ATO.

Can I receive my notice of assessment?

Yes. You receive your notice of assessment and other correspondences directly from ATO by mail.

What payment methods do you provide?

VISA, MasterCard, bankcard, bank transfer and pay on refund are available.

What will I receive after the submission?

You will receive your tax return and invoice by email within 24 hours. If you need, tax advice is provided.

What is your cancelation policy? Can I cancel your service?

Credit card payment is not processed upon your submission, but will be processed upon preparation. Safe Accountants, under most circumstances, will not issue a refund of the fees after preparation. However, Safe Accountants amends your tax return after preparation. Preparation means the time when you are first contacted for queries or preparation of your tax return is commenced by Safe Accountants, whichever earlier.

What happens if I find mistakes after submission?

No problems. You can change after your review. If your tax return has already been lodged, we can amend your tax returns for free. Thus, please check your email occasionally after your submission and notify us ASAP in case you find mistakes.