How much does a personal tax accountant cost?

Price guide

$100 - $400

low

$100

median

$250

high

$400

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much does a personal tax accountant cost?

If you just started your own business, tracking your finances and keeping it in shape can be confusing and challenging. Navigating through the complex legal processes involved in running a business can already be a handful. Moments like the tax return filing season can get overwhelming! At times like these, a tax accountant can help. But how much does a personal tax accountant cost in Australia?

Tax accountant costs vary depending on your state, how complex your business is, tax return type, and the timing, if near or far from the deadline. The average cost of an accountant doing tax return filing is around $100 to $400 per hour. These could get higher and lower depending on the factors mentioned above and the purpose of consultation.

Whether you’re cramming to file taxes or just want to keep your business in check, we have made a comprehensive price guide to help you get up to speed and get everything accounted for.

What factors affect tax accountant costs?

Numerous factors affect how much an accountant costs for tax returns in Australia. The top factors to consider are the size of the business, business timing, location, and type of service. Each factor will be discussed below.

Size of business

When it comes to business, the general rule applies – the bigger and more complex your business is, the more items the accountant needs to review. Hence, the more expensive the costs.

For an annual tax return, the average cost for personal use is $100 to $400. At the same time, a business tax return ranges from $300 to $1,000. Of course, how much accountants charge for filing tax returns could go higher if you have bigger business and higher earnings, if you have other income-generating streams, or if you have fluctuating monthly income.

Business timing

If you are near the deadline of tax return filing, the cost of hiring an accountant to do taxes also increases. It’s best to always consult with an accountant ahead of time to save yourself the stress of cramming and the added costs of speeding up service.

Location

How much a personal tax accountant costs would also differ depending on your postcode. The starting cost in Western Australia is higher than the rest of Australia. Keep this in mind while preparing your budget.

State

Average cost for tax accounting

New South Wales (NSW)

$100 to $260

Victoria (VIC)

$110 to $250

Western Australia (WA)

$130 to $265

South Australia (SA)

$100 to $235

Queensland (QLD)

$100 to $250


Type of accounting service

The cost of hiring a tax accountant is also affected by the type of accounting service to be availed by an individual or a business. Services that tax accountants commonly offer are tax returns, business advisory, and BAS lodgement. Each of these will be further discussed below.

Different types of tax accounting services and their costs

As mentioned, there are different types of tax accounting services depending on your source of income and purpose.

Tax return

A tax return is the most common service availed from tax accountants. Hiring a professional will help you save by claiming all eligible tax deductions and other expenses. Costs range from $100 to $1,000 depending on your business structure:

  • For personal tax returns, costs range from $100 to $400

  • For sole traders, costs range from $180 to $500

  • For a company or small business, costs range from $180 to $1000

Business advisory

Business advisory prices range from $180 to $700 depending on the need for business and planning depth. This service is often availed by businesses to gain insights on how to grow and save more money. This also provides small and big businesses with sound financial planning and useful investment advice.

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping costs start at $50 but could go as high as $300, depending on the number of transactions. Bookkeepers help in various business processes such as data entry, processing of payroll, invoice management, expense management, compliance, and reporting. 

Type of accounting service

Price

Personal tax return

$100 to $400

Business tax return

$300 to $1000

Business advisory

$150 to $700

Bookkeeping

$50 to $300

BAS lodgement

$160 to $490


Tax accounting services can either be availed on an annual or quarterly basis. On average, annual services range from $150 to $250, whilst services available quarterly are cheaper and start at $120 up to $250. If you have a small business that requires more than one service, you can also avail of these in a bundle or a package to further save costs.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional accountant for tax returns?

Financial management is a serious business. A few digits or a few cents of excess or loss can be met with legal sanctions. Hiring a professional accountant will help you get peace of mind knowing calculations are accurate and all the deadlines are met in advance.

Aside from these, you can also seek help in automating repetitive administrative tasks and setting up accounting software through a professional accountant. Tools such as Xero makes cash flow tracking and bookkeeping so much easier by syncing payroll, bills, and other payments in one place. Xero works by keeping track of all your invoices in real-time. Since tools like Xero have a standard format, your accountant will spend less time browsing through countless receipts and books. This will help you save more on the final cost. Accountants can also generate quick, comprehensive reports and analyses to help you further grow your business. 

Hiring a professional accountant will not only help you save time and effort in doing it all by yourself. They can also advise you on claims and transactions, tax-saving strategies, and answers to specific queries like tax accounting for film production costs. It is a good investment in ensuring your business is sound, healthy, and abiding by new rules and government regulations.

Additional costs to consider when hiring a tax accountant

Other services such as administrative support, business consulting, and management will also add up to costs. Basic administrative support and accounting services start at $35 per hour. Complex business consulting is more expensive, with a retainer fee of around $600 per month.

Filing your taxes doesn’t need to be stressful. Hiring a tax accountant is definitely a good investment, from filling out all the forms to ensuring all valid expenses are claimed. If you are ready to take the next step, Airtasker can connect you to trustworthy accountants near you.

FAQs

What information does my accountant need to file my tax return?

To file your tax return successfully, your accountant will need to have your income, expenses, and health insurance rebates ready. Income includes your bank statements, payment summaries, shares, funds, trusts investments; buy and sell investment statements; and foreign income details. Expenses are your work-related expenses, health insurance policies, donation receipts, educational receipts, property receipts, union membership, and spouse’s list of income and expenses. Lastly, health insurance includes medical levy and health insurance rebates.

What qualifications should I look for in a tax accountant?

When hiring a tax accountant, check if they have a membership association like Chartered Accounts for Australia and New Zealand to ensure they are legitimate and experienced in the field. They should also have a university degree or diploma in accountancy to qualify as an accountant. In addition to these qualifications, online reviews from past projects can give you an idea of the performance and expertise of an accountant on the job. On Airtasker, you’ll be able to view ratings and reviews of previous partners and effectively select a Tasker who will meet your accounting needs.

How long does a tax accountant engagement last?

The length of a tax accountant engagement differs depending on the complexity of the job. If you have clean and complete bookkeeping, the duration of the service could go as quick as two to three working days. However, if it’s your first time filing taxes, it might take a couple of weeks. Note that this could go longer if you require services other than tax return filing or started the engagement during the busy season. Best to consult an accountant weeks before the deadline to ensure you are on track on tax filing dates.