Most people just use the cheapest one they can find, this is a grievous error in my experience as most of the time cheap tax advice turns out to be the most expensive decision you could make.
OK, you read on Facebook or your friend tells you to use Mr/Ms X who only charges $100 and got them “loads” back, that may well be the case but this does not mean this is the right accountant for you or that your friend got everything they were entitled to.
If you pay anyone only $100 in this day and age their only concern is to get you in and out of their office as quickly as possible, the moment your taxes become in anyway complex they don’t want to hear about it. Of course they are not going to say this directly to you, what you will get is poor advice on what you can and cannot claim and zero advice on future Tax Planning.
If you miss out on $1,000 worth of deductions every year by failing to pay $200-300 extra to get the proper advice, it hardly makes good financial sense.
It is also worth noting that ultimately YOU are responsible for what goes into your tax return so whilst poor advice will be taken into account if there are problems with your returns, it will not exempt you from paying what you should have in the first place.
So what should you look out for?
They should be registered with the Tax Practitioners Board
The tax practitioners board has been set up by the Australian government to regulate those that provide tax advice. They check that anyone providing tax advice has the required qualifications and experience to do so. They also ensure that correct level of professional indemnity insurance is maintained and provide a complaints service should you have problems down the line. You can check online whether someone is registered or not at www.tpb.gov.au .