Can my bookkeeper prepare my tax return?

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When you get close to the end of the financial year, it must be tempting to think, “Can my bookkeeper just prepare my annual tax return?” Well, the answer is actually no. Only a licensed tax agent can charge a fee for preparing an annual tax return. This means that your bookkeeper can’t be involved in preparing the tax return, or they certainly can’t lodge it – only a licensed tax agent. And that generally means your external accountant. 

There is one exception to this and that is that the tax office allows you to lodge your own tax return. So where you employ your bookkeeper directly, then they’re not actually charging a fee for preparing your tax return, they’re just charging a fee for being your employee.

In that case, as long as you’re happy to stand behind the whip that your bookkeeper does, you can lodge your own tax return.

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