Lodge your tax return in minutes with Pocketbook
Pocketbook's tax app lets you lodge in 10 minutes and access an accountant to get the most out of your return.
Budget planning app Pocketbook has today released its 2017 tax app, allowing you to lodge directly from your phone for as little as $59 for simple returns. Pocketbook's co-founder Bosco Tan said the motivation for releasing the app this year was solving the three core problems of lodging a tax return in Australia.
"One of the big problems that got us developing Pocketbook is that there's no easy categorisation engine that helps us find deductions during tax time. So basically to do your tax properly, you need to look at what you're spending for the year, figure out where things are going, and then go through all the trouble of involving a professional to kind of get the best results," Tan said.
As Pocketbook had already solved the categorisation problem with its existing app, Tan explained that the tax app would solve the remaining two problems: the hassle of going to see an accountant and getting a good tax refund.
"We're trying to target people that are motivated enough to get the best outcome for their tax return but aren't necessarily wanting to go to that manual trouble of sitting down with an accountant," Tan said.
The app works by leading you through a set of guided questions. You can stop and save whenever you need to and attach documents to prove your claims. While the app seems simple, Tan says it isn't just suited to someone lodging a statement with a PAYG.
"You can have shares, complex pension arrangements, you can potentially get government benefits. So, there are a couple of layers of complexity there that the product caters for."
The app lets you attach relevant documentation and photos directly from your phone to prove your deductions. Then, you chat with the accountant about your return to ensure you get the best possible result based on the information you provide.
"The advice is what makes a great tax return versus an average tax return. Because most people don't know what are possible deductions for different professions."
Tan explains that there are no limits to the chat service with the accountant, which is operated through a partnership with online tax return provider Refund Express. The Pocketbook team went as far as to test the accounting service themselves before partnering with them.
Tan said most users will utilise the chat service because it helps to make sure "everything is spot on".
For Tan, giving users access to an expert was an important feature to include in the app.
"This ensures you that you will get the best outcome. You may not get a better return than if you did it yourself, but at least you know like it is the best kind of return that you could have possibly gotten because you had expert advice driving it."
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Listen to the finder.com.au Money Podcast featuring Bosco Tan
- Download the episode here by right clicking this link and clicking 'save link as'
- Stream the episode on a separate page here