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Tax Planning Process

What is Tax Planning?

Tax planning is the process used by individuals and businesses to structure their affairs to legally reduce their tax liability and make savings. This is achieved by using deductions, exemptions and structures.

According to the Australian Taxation Office "You have the right to arrange your financial affairs to keep your tax to a minimum – this is often referred to as tax planning, or tax-effective investing. Tax planning is legitimate when you do it within the letter and the spirit of the law".

Who Can Benefit From Tax Planning?

It's simple - All taxpayers can benefit from tax planning and the savings that are created. Our research shows that 95% of taxpayers can legally reduce the amount of tax they pay.

Approximately 50% of Australian taxpayers use legal tax planning strategies to minimise their tax with the most popular strategies being negative gearing of residential properties (2.1 million taxpayers), and salary sacrificing super contributions (4 million taxpayers).

See our blog post on Australia's most expensive legal tax breaks

See Money Smart - Contributing Extra to Super

7 Step Tax Planning Process

Step 1 of the tax planning process is ‘educate clients’. Our objective is to educate taxpayers on the opportunities they have available to personally save tax. This step involves no selling at all, and is strictly focused on client education.  

Step 2 of the tax planning process is ‘sell service to client’. Our objective is for the client to either request/or agree to us preparing a tax savings report for them for an agreed fee. Unless we have the client approval for an agreed fee, we have not been successful in selling the service to the client.

Step 3 of the tax planning process is ‘information gathering’. The tax planning result we achieve for the client will only be as good as the quality of information we have gathered. The garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) concept applies. 

Step 4 of the tax planning process is the tax strategies database. This is the intellectual property and know-how that is the foundation of the whole tax planning process. 

Step 5 of the tax planning process, ‘Select Tax Strategies’, is a two-part process that is very simple and straightforward to describe. Firstly, the taxpayer’s unique circumstances (information gathered at step 3) is considered in conjunction with the unique attributes of each tax strategy (from the tax strategies database in step 4). Then secondly, the accountant uses their experience, knowledge, and expertise to select the optimum 1-10 tax strategies for the client.

Step 6 of the tax planning process is the ‘tax savings report’. The tax savings report has three functions:

  • Education
  • Sales
  • Implementation

Step 7 of the tax planning process (the final step) is client discussion and implementation. The objective of this step is for the client to understand the tax savings report and implement the strategies (so they save tax).

 

Achievable Tax Savings

The table below is a guide to the savings that are possible if 10%, 25%, 50%, or 100% savings are achieved.

tax savings

See case studies of tax planners saving clients' tax using the tax savings report.