Need help with your tax return?

If you're a low-income earner, student, pensioner or migrant the ATO's free Tax Help program can assist you to complete your tax return correctly.

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You can access free help from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to lodge your tax return, via its Tax Help program. Here's how it works and how to access support.

What is the Tax Help program?

The Tax Help program is a free service provided by the ATO designed to help with their tax returns, free of charge. Tax help is a community of volunteers who provide expertise and advice for those trying to complete their tax returns themselves. The volunteers don’t actually work for the ATO, but are given full training and support.

Tax Help is designed especially to help people on low incomes or people who would describe themselves as:

  • Seniors
  • Students
  • People from non-English speaking backgrounds
  • People with a disability
  • Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

What can the Tax Help program support you with?

The main way that the program can help you is by helping you lodge your tax return correctly and by the due date. The volunteers can also help you with the following:

  • Lodge amendments with previous tax returns
  • Claim a refund of franking credits
  • Create a myGov account so you can do your taxes online
  • Tell you if you don't need to lodge a return

The program is only really able to help those filling out straightforward returns, so if you're filing on behalf of a business, trust or corporation, if your return has many complications, they may refer you to a professional tax service.

How to access help with Tax Help

The volunteers at Tax Help are based in all major cities in Australia and are available to help you during tax season (that's July to October). The volunteers can come to you in your home, or you can receive help and advice over the phone if you'd prefer.

To book an appointment you can call the Tax Help program on 13 10 40.

  • Individuals starting from $79*
  • Sole trader starting from $150*
  • Ride sharing tax returns start from $110*

FinTax Group Offer

Qualified to handle your tax and financial needs.

Help you complete your tax return if you have more than one job, or income from other sources such as investments.

Offers a wide range of services from tax advice to business setup and advisory.

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Choosing a tax agent

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Online tax returns
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
Australia wide
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
Refund Express
$79*
$0 when you purchase the $49 income package
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $10 for basic returns. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Australia wide
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
Hotman & Brown
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
N/A
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Basic tax returns over the phone Australia-wide. In-person individual and business tax returns in Melbourne.
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Australia wide
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees Online tax returns
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.
Refund Express
$79*
$0 when you purchase the $49 income package
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $10 for basic returns. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat.
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
Australia wide
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Australia wide
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Australia wide
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Australia wide
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
FinTax Group
$79*
$0 for up to $1000 of deductions
$65 for an investment property
Sydney
Lodge individual & company tax returns online or in-person. Fast online form with additional options to complete tax returns for investment properties, sole trader tax and share investments.
Taxgain
$99*
$0 for up to 2 deductions
$29 for additional deductions
Sydney
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Online and in-person tax services for individuals, sole traders and companies.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Hotman & Brown
$99*
Business tax: starting from $179
$29 for up to 2 deductions
Additional $29 for extra deductions
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $29. Basic tax returns over the phone Australia-wide. In-person individual and business tax returns in Melbourne.
One Minute Tax
$99*
$0
Melbourne
Option to pay with your tax refund for an extra fee of $20. Lodge individual & company tax returns. Fast online form & free live chat. Special offer for business owners: Register your new company for only $499 (includes $488 worth of government fees and $100 cashback into your new business bank account). Click 'Go to site' to find out more. T&Cs apply.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Everest Tax & Business Advisors
$80*
Business tax: starting from $250
General deductions: $0
For motor vehicle expenses: $15
Perth
A boutique firm that provides personalised experiences for all customers. Ideal option for individuals and small businesses based in Perth.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Fee for unlimited income items (Wages) Deduction Item Fees On-site tax returns
Bennetts Tax & BAS service
$155*
finder Exclusive: $5 discount
$0 for all work related deductions
Canberra
finder Exclusive: $5 discount when you apply for a tax return with Bennetts Tax through finder. Click 'Go to site' and complete the contact form to find out more. Income item fee includes returns on interest, dividends, Superannuation and pension. A flexible option for individuals, sole traders and companies.
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Compare up to 4 providers

*This is the minimum fee charged for income item tax returns. The price listed on this table is subject to terms and conditions. To find out more or to receive an accurate quote for your tax return, please visit the agent's website to submit an enquiry.

*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

Who can help me file my tax return?

There are basically two ways that you can file your tax return, you can do it yourself or you can pay someone to do it. The tax industry is complicated and affects everyone, so it should come as no surprise to you that there is a booming market for qualified professional services that offer help in return for a fee. There are many companies in Australia who provide tax services, and we’ve tried to help you find one by previewing some of the larger companies. You should find the providers listed on the left hand side of this page, but we’ve also linked them below, so you can have a look through and find a service that works for you.

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How do I use a registered tax agent?

If you decide to use a tax service, then you’ve just decided to make tax season a lot easier. The tax services are designed to make things simple for you, so using their service is often a matter of a few steps.

1) Find a tax agent that suits you. We’ve provided full guides of some of the largest tax services available in Australia, so if you’re not sure what you’re looking for have a look through out previews to find the agent that suits your needs.

2) Contact the agent to discuss your return. An informal discussion will come first. You’ll want to ensure that your service is registered with the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB). This is the legal register of companies that are allowed to provide tax help, if they’re not registered, then they’re operating illegally and should be well avoided. You’ll also want to discuss the fees that they will charge and get an idea of what information they will need from you to ensure that your return is processed swiftly and easily.

3) Begin gathering your financial information. When you’ve agreed to terms with your tax service provider, you will need to start getting your financial statements together. This means you’ll need all your payslips, details about your superannuation, any receipts or bills that you’re claiming as a deduction. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, it’s usually best to bring just about everything and then let your tax advisor decide what is useful and what is not.

4) Pay for your service, hand over your information and go on with your life. Congratulations, you’ve just survived tax season, and it has probably never been easier. Remember, the beauty of paying someone to do your taxes is that you don’t have to do your taxes yourself.


DISCLAIMER: Many of the comments in this article are general in nature and anyone intending to apply the information to practical circumstances should seek professional advice to independently verify their interpretation and the information applicability to their own particular circumstances.


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14 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DanielOctober 2, 2017

    I have rented a car for 12 months to perform home care work. Can I claim the cost of renting the car?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RenchOctober 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      You’re entitled to claim deductions for expenses that are directly related to earning an income. If you want to claim a deduction for a work-related expense:

      -You must have spent the money yourself and not been reimbursed
      -The expense must have been directly related to earning your income
      -You must have a record (e.g. a receipt) to prove it

      So, what can you claim? Acceptable deductions include:

      -Vehicle and travel expenses
      -Clothing, laundry, and dry-cleaning expenses
      -Gifts and donations
      -Home office expenses
      -Self-education expenses
      -Tools and equipment
      -Interest, dividend, and other investment income expenses

      Check out our ultimate guide to tax deductions for full details on what you can and can’t claim.

      You may also get more helpful information from our guide to completing a tax return.

      Hope this information helped.

      Best regards,
      Rench

    Default Gravatar
    DaniJuly 14, 2017

    The WFD Distribution Stmt say that the statement has been prepared on the basis of an individual. If using for another type of entity will need to adjust the Tax Deferred Amount for the relevant entity. Is this correct? I thought it was only necessary for calculating the discount on gains.

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 27, 2017

      Hello Dani,

      Thank you for your inquiry today.

      Unfortunately, we are unable to provide specific tax advice as there are personal circumstances that we are unaware of.

      You may refer to ATO’s 13 Partnerships and trusts 2017 or consult a tax agent or accountant for further advice.

      Hope this clarifies.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    AndrewJuly 12, 2017

    I was put off work and needed to cash in my super
    I realise it must go on my tax return
    Will more tax ge taken out on top of what was taken out when i cashed in

      Default Gravatar
      MariaJuly 24, 2017

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      One of the disadvantages of cashing in your super early is that you will pay a higher amount of tax. Also, your super fund will send you a payment summary showing:

      • how much of the super you received is taxable and how much is tax-free
      • how much tax they withheld from the payment to pay on your behalf
      • any tax offset you may be able to claim (for your super income stream)

      For more information on the tax on your super and filing your tax return, please check ATO’s withdrawing and using your super guides.

      Cheers,
      Maria

    Default Gravatar
    DannyJune 22, 2017

    I am a sole trader and have abn. I need to purchase a computer and a phone. I am worried because I have not much income and how it affects my tax bill.
    I need some help.

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 24, 2017

      Hi Danny!

      Working with tax return can be a very demanding task. :(

      We may recommend that you consult a tax agent or a financial adviser for this matter. Alternatively, you can take advantage of using the services of etax program.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    LimaJune 11, 2017

    Sandra earns salary and wages of $47,000 and is eligible for the low income tax offset. Where would she claim this in her tax return?

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