Hard and fast facts to improving your tax refund

Sam Chapman’s Accounting company known at Chapman and Co Accounting was founded in 2014 and has built a strong business catering to small and large businesses, sole traders and multi-milion dollar companies. Their key criteria is to offer quality service to all their clients not matter what size they are, maintaining the same service for a small client as they would a million dollar company. And that’s why we seeked Sam’s advice on what he would recommend going into tax time for all of our clients. We sat down and got some great insights into how to make the processes easier and of course, the best way to get more tax back!

1. You’re in the numbers game, what made you want to become an accountant?
I’ve had an interest in numbers for a long time, growing up my father was the treasurer of the local football club so I was always interested in how things were run behind the scenes. After high school I studied Commerce at University as I thought it was good excuse to avoid getting a real job! I found that I enjoyed the accounting subjects more than any others so after Uni I landed a job with a local accounting firm and I was lucky enough to be able to start my own business 3 years ago.

2. You have your own accounting business, tell us what services you provide?
We provide a full range of services to clients of all sizes from individuals, mum and dad companies and large companies. We work with the client from the initial stages of choosing the right structure, to helping the business grow, right through to helping them manage their retirement.

3. On a scale of 1-10 how crazy is the end of financial year for you and your business?
This year was about a 9! This was due to all of the recent superannuation changes which were introduced this year which created a lot of work for our clients. We spend most of April-June working with our clients to ensure everything is in order before the 30th June otherwise if it’s not done before the 30th, it’s too late.

4. What’s the easiest mistake someone can avoid making when considering their tax?
Not getting professional advice! I could write a book on the amount of crazy advice clients have received from people who have no idea about tax, whether it be from a friend, co-worker, or some guy they met at the pub.

5. Do you recommend investors order a tax depreciation schedule, and if so why?
Definitely. A depreciation schedule ensures you are claiming the maximum amount of depreciation possible on your rental property which can save a fortune in tax over the years. The tax saved by getting a depreciation schedule usually outweighs the cost of the schedule in the first year alone.


6. What are three vital things people need to have ready in the lead up to tax time?
1.    Plan early, make a list of things needed to do before 30th June otherwise it’s too late.
2.    Document everything, we can’t claim an expense without any evidence
3.    Seek professional advice

7. Finally, because everyone wants to know how to get more money back, how can someone maximise their tax return?
If you have an investment property a depreciation schedule is a no-brainer. Also it is important to keep all of your receipts throughout the year no matter how small, whether they be kept in a shoe or on a mobile app.

And if you want a large refund while staying out of the ATO’s sights, definitely seek the professional advice of a qualified accountant.