Managing It

Making tax time as painless as possible

WORK THE TIMING If you’re expecting a tax return, get your return in as quickly as you can to receive the money earlier. If you’re expecting to make a payment, hold off your return until close to the deadline. For most of us, that is 15th May in the following year (unless you lodge it yourself in which case it’s 31st October in the current year). Check ATO lodgment dates for individuals, if you’re not sure.

Could a ‘Part 9’ Debt Agreement solve your debt problems?

BEWARE THE EQUITY STRIPPERS A small but dangerous minority of finance businesses has been found to churn clients from one loan to another, often exaggerating the threat of repossession. Each time, large fees (sometimes tens of thousands of dollars) reduce the owners’ equity in the home, leaving them worse off and ultimately more likely to lose their home. If you are contemplating refinancing, read this first.

Getting good advice

BAD APPLES AND GOOD NEWS Recent high profile cases underline the dangers of choosing the wrong financial adviser. The good news is that new laws* mean advisers…
  • are now far more qualified
  • must offer advice in your best interests
  • can’t be paid a commission by product providers
…and it isn’t hard to choose a good one… * this doesn’t apply to advice given before 1 July 2013 so if you have implemented older advice, think about reviewing your plans.