Although not always considered the most exciting time of the year by many, tax time is once again upon us.

Even for the most organised of people, the thought of lodging a tax return can be somewhat overwhelming or generally just a bit of a chore to say the least.

And this year, tax time may look a little different to previous financial years. With COVID19 restrictions in place, many of us have found a ‘new normal’ working from a home office which may mean using personal data and office equipment, electricity, technology, stationery and furniture to get our work done.

The good news is you’ll most likely have more expenses to claim on your tax return, however with the ATO announcing new methods for claiming work from home deductions in the wake of COVID19, you may be left feeling a little uncertain about how and what to claim.

To be sure you don’t lose out and hopefully end up with more cash in your own pocket, sourcing a local, reliable taxation agent to take care of your tax return may be your best option.

With over 40 accounting and taxation businesses and in excess of 600 professional services ranging from financial planners, book keepers to superannuation, legal advisers and more, Central Geelong can provide you with all the expert advice you need in one place.

Centralgeelong.com.au is your first stop for sourcing a taxation and accounting service to meet your needs. The website features a business directory listing all businesses by category, including contact details and an overview of key services.

The directory also provides information on the current operating status of each business and how the business may be doing things a little differently under restrictions, such as offering online services or reduced opening hours.

Like hundreds of Central Geelong businesses, professional service businesses have cleverly adapted to continue to provide customers with a range of services via phone appointments, virtual meetings and the sharing and signing of documents electronically.

H&R Block Tax Accountants are offering phone appointments and the ability to share documents electronically. Their online Tax Express Return option allows you to complete your tax return within minutes and have it reviewed by a tax professional once submitted. You can also download the Tax Express Return App so you can prepare your tax return wherever you are.

Geelong Tax Services, The Income Tax Professionals and  Warnock Accounting offer online and over the phone consultations and the capacity to submit tax return information electronically. Patrick Rowan and Associates are continuing to work remotely, offering phone or virtual Income Tax Return preparation meetings via Zoom.  

McHenry Partners Accountants & Business Advisors also offer phone or virtual meetings to their customers. The use of cloud accounting software with information provided direct from the ATO with the implementation of Single Touch Payroll (STP) and insurance provider reporting, have all made it easier than ever at tax time. A phone call or virtual meeting can then confirm expenses incurred. McHenry Partners provides a cloud based electronic signing system which allows clients to be sent their tax return securely for signing from their mobile phone or computer. Once processed by the ATO, they process all refunds into the client’s bank account directly. Using an accountant that is set up to complete and sign tax returns electronically helps avoid the delay in processes and reduces the need to have face to face contact or to be relying on traditional mail to arrive.

McHenry Partners are also supporting other Geelong businesses through the City of Greater Geelong’s Coronavirus Business Support Package – they are one of many local businesses offering their expert advice to assist business operators impacted by restrictions. For more information visit www.geelongaustralia.com/business or call 5272 5272.

To see how Central Geelong businesses have been doing things differently and to find out more about how you can keep supporting local businesses and the free parking options in Central Geelong visit www.centralgeelong.com.au or download the Love Central Geelong app.