Tax deductible stuffed crocodiles & other accounting stories

In this edition of Meet the Incubator Incrowd, we would like to introduce you to Mark Robinson, a tax accountant who gave us the skinny on ridiculous things you can claim on tax and record levels of tax return procrastination (prepare to feel better about yourself).

coworking space albany business centre

Mark has been in Office 3 of Albany Business Centre (ABC) for three years now, and has been practicing for seven years. He was looking for a place to base himself and found the short lease period (30 day renewal) and price point really ticked his boxes. Being agile is a big part of who we are here at the ABC, so if there is an opportunity or a chance that our Incrowd can jump on, we are all about giving them the freedom to do so.

Enough of the shameless plugs, you’re all here for the accounting gossip and inside info, so here it is:

What are you listening to at the moment? Double J

When you aren’t doing tax stuff, how do you spend your time: At the beach, trying to learn to surf or hanging out with the kids,  Lilly, 7 and Xavier, 17 or helping renovate my friends place.

One thing everyone should remember when it comes to Tax Accounting: live within your means so you don’t get into trouble and end up living a life filled with stress. Maybe even open a separate bank account to put money aside for tax obligations if you’re self employed.This is the logical option, but very rarely followed through on.

If you weren’t a tax accountant what would you do: Looking after old people? Doing aged care or being a counsellor, I think? I would want to do that so I could contribute to quality of life of people who may not be in the best situation.

What is something people often forget to prep for before their appointments with you? Knowing how much child support they’ve paid over the year is important, and it definitely saves time!

When it comes to late tax returns, what is your record? I had a client come in who hadn’t done their tax in 22 years. Surprisingly, the paperwork wasn’t that bad!

Have you come across any strange yet claimable items in your time?  Dogs are claimable, as they can be guard dogs. Paintings or artwork for your office, sunglasses that sort of thing. I think the strangest claimable items would be stuffed crocodiles. They are listed in the depreciation schedule. People do try and claim fishing boats (for client excursions) and gym fees (because they have to stay fit for their job) but those aren’t claimable. And yet taxidermied crocs are! Go figure.

Do you have any pearls of TAX wisdom for us? Definitely, If your spouse is on a low income, they get little benefit from rental deductions. But if you are on a wage, and you salary package your spouses share of rental expenses, you can save more tax.

And just in case you were wondering, the effective life for a stuffed croc is 20 years. So if you’ve got one lurking in your games room  that you bought 15 years ago (we promise we won’t ask questions) don’t forget to put it on your TAX for next year! How about that? I love Australia.