myTax vs Accountant: Which Will Get You the Best Result?

Tax time rolls around, your tax return seems pretty simple – Why waste your hard-earned money on a boring, mandatory task, especially when it’s tax-related? You see an easy, no-cost government option, and you take it. After all, probably wouldn’t get much of a return anyway – or could you?

Before we dive into the money you could be missing out on, an important thing to remember is that you are personally responsible for lodging your tax return. Anything you sign and deliver to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is seen as a binding legal declaration. The full responsibility for your tax return lies on your shoulders. So if you do unwittingly make a mistake, you might be up for fees and penalties that far outweigh any refund you manage to get.

The ATO will detect any discrepancies with their sophisticated data-matching program. The scary part is that they often let your return go through until tax season settles down. Only then will they contact you about the discrepancies and request receipts to verify your claims. In other words, don’t think you’re in the clear just because your refund came back within two weeks.

With so much on the line, we thought it would be a good idea to give you an overview of your two main options when filing your taxes in Australia: myTax and a certified accountant. One is free and provided by the government. The other comes at a cost, but that fee gets you a host of benefits that far outweigh the price you pay. Let’s take a look at both options in greater depth.

What Is myTax And Why Is It Free?

myTax is an online service provided by the ATO, giving individuals and sole traders an easy, no-cost way to prepare and lodge their own tax returns. It’s quick, safe, and secure, with most refunds processed within two weeks.

myTax might be a free service, but in terms of professional support, you are on your own. The myTax forms will lead you through a series of questions and prompts. The system will often prompt you where it considers your claims to be high. This certainly is helpful as it allows you to double-check and revise your claims. However, each time you check and revise a claim, the ATO’s software will note it. This may prompt them to look deeper into your return.

Once you submit your information, you’re on your own. So if the ATO does decide to dig deeper into your tax return, you’ll have no professional support. If you’re well-versed in Australian tax law, this may not be an issue. However, for most Australians, the idea of facing an ATO audit is fear-inducing, to say the least.

Pro tax tip: Want to learn more about the audit process in Australia? Read our complete guide to the ATO audit process.

Why Pay to Submit Your Tax Return Online?

ITP’s express online tax return service offers more than just an online submission portal. You also get a dedicated, fully trained Tax Accountant who will:

  • Go over your information
  • Raise any concerns that could get you in trouble with the ATO
  • Claim tax deductions, credits, offsets, and other elements you missed
  • Give everything the final tick of approval before lodging your tax refund to the ATO

You’ll pay a small fee for this service. However, most people find this fee more than covers itself with the boosted tax refund they receive. Add to that the peace of mind that comes with knowing your tax return is legit and mistake-free, and the service is truly priceless.

Is It Worth Seeing An Accountant In Person?

In a face-to-face appointment, you can gain even more value from your accountant. For example, ITP’s Tax Accountants offer free advice while working through the paperwork. So, in addition to ensuring all details are correct, you get valuable insights into your finances and how you can save more money each tax season.

Do you know there are specific tax offsets and government schemes offered to taxpayers? The Government regularly updates and changes the legislation around these schemes and offsets. So unless you have your ears to the ground, you might not know they even exist. ITP’s accountants are up-to-date on the latest tax law changes, so nothing will fall through the net. We can help you claim any government payments you may be entitled to, along with all legitimate tax deductions. If you’re entitled to receive a special subsidy or a tax offset, we’ll make sure you get it.


pensive woman thinking about tax

The Experience: myTax vs. Accountant

Let’s take a look at a few examples of common tax return elements, comparing the myTax experience with the service you’ll receive from an accountant.

Home office costs

Claiming some home office costs, such as occupancy expenses (eg Council rates or mortgage interest), may lead to capital gains tax. So you need to know which claims are applicable to your situation. These calculations can get incredibly complicated. With myTax, you’re on your own with them. However, an accountant will correctly calculate any capital gains or losses you may have made. They’ll also advise you on how to avoid paying too much tax if you’re planning to sell your property.

Car expenses and depreciating assets

Claiming car expenses and depreciating assets can get tricky, as they entail more complex deductions. Car expenses, work-related travel expenses, and operational costs generally need to be backed by a logbook. You’ll also need to provide calculations on how you arrived at your tax deduction if you’re audited.

Depreciating assets can be complex, and claims need to be worked out over a certain time period. There are various methods and rates of depreciation depending on the asset, and you need to make sure you use the right one. myTax provides limited guidance on these choices. Instead, it expects you to know what you’re doing and make the right decisions every step of the way.

By contrast, tax accountants bring their expertise to the table, determining what you can claim and the right method to use at each step. They will advise of claims you might not know existed – something myTax just won’t do.

Planning for future tax savings

Your tax accountant can also help you plan for the future year, providing advice on things like recording your work-related usage of home running costs, mobile phone, and computer expenses to increase your tax refund. MyTax will not advise you on how to boost your tax refund this year and in the future because of course it won’t. It’s a bot. Not a human being.

Accountants Truly Pay For Themselves

By now, it should be pretty clear that accountants deliver far more value than the fee they charge. But did you know that it gets even better? Your tax accountant’s fees are 100% tax deductible on next year’s return. You can even claim the travel to and from your appointment! Not only do you get professional help, expert advice, and a bigger tax refund, but the fees are also fully claimable.

Most accountants also offer flexible payment terms. For example, you can pay upfront to claim the fee back on your next year’s appointment. Or you can have the fee taken out of your tax refund so you won’t even notice it.

ITP’s Tax Accountants are motivated to maximise your tax deductions. After all, we’ve dedicated our careers to doing just that! The goal of using an ITP Tax Accountant is to maximise your tax deductions in an easy, stress-free environment and in a way that you are fully supported and advised.

Don’t forget: The ATO has no motivation to maximise your tax deductions. It collects revenue. ITP’s Tax Accountants know how to reduce your tax, and as our client, we’re motivated to get you the best result. It’s your money. We’re with you on believing it should end up in your pocket.

What Is An ITP Tax Appointment Like?

An average individual appointment is usually only around 30 minutes. It can even be done over the phone, via Zoom, via email, or through our online express portal. Whichever way you decide to contact our professionals, you’re guaranteed expert help and your best tax refund yet.


Download this article: MyTax vs using an ITP Tax Accountant

Here’s What People Say About Our Service:

Grant – 5 stars
Awesome, as is the case every year.

Grace – 5 stars
Would highly recommend. The team are always extremely professional and helpful. My consultant has been doing my tax for the past 6 years. Every year I get a reminder to do my tax (which is great because being busy these things can slip your mind) they are always so flexible and go out of their way to fit me in at short notice.

Chell – 5 stars
I highly recommend this place. I have been a returning customer for over 10 years.

Natalie – 5 stars
Absolutely awesome, super friendly and thorough on what was needed. Highly recommended. Will return.

Lee – 5 stars
Friendly, good service. Got me a really good refund.

Hayden – 5 stars
Fast turn-around. Great value for money. Will be sure to return next year. Thanks to my consultant’s work I was able to buy an extra slab of beer with my tax return.

Michael – 5 stars
I have been going to my consultant for at least 5 years. He is knowledgeable and kind. Any questions or concerns I have raised he has always explained in detail making my yearly tax return a pleasure rather than a chore. He always has suggestions for deductions I may not have thought of and has never failed to get me a fair tax return.

Jackie – 5 stars
My professional has been incredibly supportive in helping resolve some issues with my tax return. Being quite new to business, I made a lot of mistakes which he helped calmly rectify, and educated me on how to move forward. He’s very easy to get along with and I would highly recommend.

How To Make A Tax Appointment

Booking is easy. Simply use our online portal to find your nearest office and book an appointment. You can also phone us on 1800 367 487. Our sophisticated automated service will find your closest branch and direct you there. A consultant will be in touch to confirm the date and time of your appointment. If you want to know what to bring to make the most out of your appointment, click here for a downloadable tax checklist.

Call 1800 367 487, or book online at and your tax agent will be in touch to help.