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Complex compliance crushes small accounting businesses

TAX complexity is threatening to kill the small accounting practices that are such a source of comfort and advice to many of WA’s small businesses.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia WA regional manager Con Abbott said small accountants were being forced to take on the bulk of the compliance role and were receiving little support from the Australian Tax Office.

“Accountants don’t have enough time to keep track of all of the new tax rules that are coming out and they’re being forced to charge more for their services – in some cases pricing themselves out of the small business market,” he said.

“If tax advice is not affordable then the system is too hard and needs to be fixed.”

Small Business Development Corporation managing director George Etrelezis said most small business owners liked the idea of

the local, small accounting firm.

“I think these days small businesses need the assistance of a good accountant or business adviser more than ever,” he said.

“We would like to see more emphasis placed on business advice and less on compliance. At the micro-end there is far too much emphasis placed on compliance.”

CPA Australia tax spokesman Tony Ince said a lot of small businesses were demanding that their accounting fees were reduced.

“This is likely to create another market – one offering a streamlined compliance service with less one-on-one contact,” he said.

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