Captain Fi Podcast – Tax with Minh

Captain FI Financial Independence podcast – Tax with Minh from Darwin

Whilst a lot of people might roll their eyes when they start to think about submitting their tax returns, it’s something that everyone has to do. So personally, I used to submit my own tax returns from when I was at uni, but I eventually realized that I was actually cutting myself short because there were lots of work-related deductions that I was missing out on that I didn’t know about. From then on, I made sure I saw a licenced tax accountant.

So today on the pod, I’ve got Minh, a licensed tax accountant that works for a firm, who’s joining us all the way from Tropical Darwin. Minh is going to talk a little bit about his experience of becoming a tax accountant and some of the things that you should consider when it comes to submitting your tax return.

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Captain FI Podcast – Tax with Minh

Show Notes

You can find info about tax and tax returns on the ATO website HERE.

You can read my review of H and R Block Tax Accountants HERE.

You can read my article on Financial Advisors HERE to help you decide if you may need to hire one.

My review of eTax Accountants is HERE.

When it comes tax time, Sharesight makes it easy to manage your portfolio. Check out my review of Sharesight HERE.

For Crypto Tax Software, check out my BearTax review.

For info on Business Tax, you can check out the Australian government’s Business page on Taxation HERE.

Transcript -Tax with Minh

Captain Fi:[00:00:00] Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome Award, the Financial Independence Podcast.

Get a, and welcome to another episode of Captain Fire, the Financial Independence Podcast, where I open the cockpit to some of the best and brightest in personal finance, as well as those who have reached or are on their way to financial independence. Before we get started, remember nothing said here is financial advice and you should always do your own independent research before making any financial choices.

With that being said, I hope you enjoy the episode and learn something new.[00:01:00]

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Whilst a lot of people might roll their eyes when they start to think about submitting their tax returns, it’s something that everyone has to do. So personally, I used to submit my own tax returns and actually when I was at uni, there was a guy, my dorm, who would go and submit it on our behalf, which I don’t think was exactly legal.

When you are 18 and stupid, you do what you do. Then learn about, I think it was called My tax or something, and I was submitting my own personal tax returns for a while using the free Australian government tool. But I realized that I was actually cutting myself short because there are lots of work related deductions that I was missing out on.

I actually went and saw a specialist aviation tax accountant who was able to really increase my deductions and get me a lot healthier returns. So I think it’s definitely something you should consider talking to a tax professional. Rather than stumbling your way through. So today on the pod, I’ve got [00:03:00] Min who’s joining us all the way from Tropical Darwin’s gonna talk a little bit about his experience of becoming a tax accountant and some of the things that you should consider when it comes to tax.

So Min today, mate. How you going? Yep,

good morning. How are you, Captain?

Yeah, I’m awesome dude. Thanks for asking. What’s it like up in Darwin? I’m assuming it’s like a hundred percent humidity. Hot as always.

Minh: Yeah, it’s hot man. Lately hasn’t been. Uh, too bad we’ve got a bit of rain, which cools the place down.

Yeah, it used to kill me, mate, so it’ll spend a lot of my time in Sydney. And I thought Sydney was humid because I’m like a southerner, so I’m used to Adelaide, Melbourne, just dry or cold at least when it’s hot here, it’s dry Here. I was complaining just living in Sydney, but I spent a lot of time in Darwin for work, so I’m very familiar with Mitchell Street and now some of the establishments up.

All right. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? So you say you originally from Melbourne, you’ve moved up to Darwin, and so do you have your own business there or are you working as part of a firm?

I’m working part of a firm at the moment, so I’ve been there for about [00:04:00] five years now. So providing advice to the local people, helping small businesses, individuals.

Captain Fi: Awesome. And so how did you become an accountant? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do through school or just stumbled your way into it, or? Good question.

Minh: It’s a funny story. I never imagined myself working as a tax accountant growing up as a teenager. I love playing games, working out and playing sports.

So during my final years of high school, I really wanted to study it or something to do with. My high school counselor advised, Look, added more options to your list for when you finish your atal or finish your studies. So I added accounting. Another one was real estate agent as my backup, but unfortunately my attel wasn’t high enough for AT or sports, but I got accepted to study accounting, so I thought, why not give it a try And, yeah, haven’t looked.

Captain Fi: So what was the process of becoming an accountant? How long was the study and what was involved? Generally

Minh: it’s a bachelor’s degree, so it’s [00:05:00] three years of studying at uni throughout those years. There’s the main course of accounting, like financial, uh, management, and then there’s this electives. So that’s where you gotta pay attention to what elective you want to choose.

So initially I thought I wanted to learn about tax. Help businesses, small businesses, individuals, how to do tax returns. So during my electives, I thought I needed to study tax, and then my second option was to study audit. So from there, the tax side, they teach you about tax law. And from there I enjoyed it.

I loved it. Love learning about taxes, how businesses grow, how people make

Captain Fi: money. It’s quite interesting. So there’s a fair bit of overlap then between say like an accountant, someone working in business management and like a financial advisor. Then there is

Minh: people think, oh, he’s an accountant. He must know how to do tax.

But it’s like a similar to a specialized industry. So there’s management, accountants, they look. [00:06:00] Businesses, solely. Businesses themselves, like they might work in there and they might do the managing day to day stuff, invoices, expenses, payroll, but whereas you know myself as a tax accountant, I assist multiple businesses.

We look at how the government implements laws or how to plan for the future or plan to grow business. So that’s where we provide

Captain Fi: advice. Okay, Interesting. So when you were doing your bachelor’s and you were looking at your electives, is it a bachelor of accounting or is it like a Bachelor of finance?

It’s, it’s a bachelor of business. And that’s your business. Okay. So in the introduction I mentioned that I had tried to submit my own tax returns myself. I saw the light and saw an accountant. Now I saw, seemed like a specialist aviation accountant, and it was, Cheap. Obviously you get what you pay for and when my tax returns are quite complex, it was worth it.

But once I’d finished my training and my finances were pretty simple, I actually just [00:07:00] switched to a BO Standard advisor. Like what do you think about people submitting their tax returns? Is it okay to file it yourself or should you. Be going and seeing an account. Anyone can lodge their

Minh: own tax returns.

Either they lodge through my go or paper, whether it’s wrong or right. It’s up to the ATA to society. Some people. You don’t know what you don’t know. They put the wrong deductions or they put the wrong claim or they’re missing something. Can I use examples? Let’s say a mechanic. Yeah. Yeah, of course. Let’s say your car breaks down or something’s wrong with the car.

My opinion is you wouldn’t try to do it yourself. You need oil change. You’ll go to a mechanic to change the oil. Similar scenario with tax accounts. You don’t know what you don’t know, so that’s why you go to us. We do this every day. It’s our bread and butter. So there may be things that you are. And that we can pick up and it’s in your benefit.

Either it’s extra deductions, more income, somewhere that you’ve missed from shares rental property, but in my opinion, whether it’s simple individual tax return, just come and see us. [00:08:00] Talk to your local accountant, give them a call. We’re always happy to have a chat and ask them what you need to bring in and have a meeting with them.

Captain Fi: Okay. So what’s the sort of cost involved to get an accountant to prepare your tax return? It depends how

Minh: complex your tax return is or what you have as. Or a lot of income. A lot of deductions, receipts. So the fees can range from $70 to $400.

Captain Fi: Okay. Wow. So 70 bucks, like when you think about it, that’s not really a huge amount of money for potentially what could get you a much higher return.

And historically, I’m thinking like 10 years ago. I paid $1,500 one year for my tax return, and that was a lot of money for me at the time, so it’s good to know. It’s actually not as expensive as I’d previously been paying. Talking about your average person, like what are some of the common deductions people might be able to claim on their tax?

Minh: Back to the fees that 1500 we normally charge on the time basis. Some people charge fixed fees. As [00:09:00] I mentioned, the complexity of it, it could be that you’ve had a lot of deductions, you had different investments. So we have to try and coll, collect all that information, create our work papers. Our work papers are used in case ATO come back and say, Hey, provide me this receipt.

How come missing this? Or how come you’re claiming this? And that’s where we act on your behalf. So it’s in a way planning. For that scenario, that’s why the fees might be a bit different, whereas, you know, 70 bucks, it’s just a simple tax return.

Captain Fi: Yeah. So it all comes down to the amount of time spent. Makes sense, mate.


Minh: deductions would be stationary. That includes pens, diaries, notebooks, any donations you make to charity. But the donation needs to be more than $2 and there needs to be a registered. So I can’t just go and donate $2 to my mate who says, I’m running this charity, Give me a hundred bucks or something.

It, it’s more, say, Red Cross Minis professional memberships to specific job industries. So for example, I’m an accountant. CPA would [00:10:00] be my professional body. So if I’m a member with them, I pay them a membership fee. So I’m able to claim that back. There’s also clothing. So the issue with clothing is it has to be specific to your industry with clothing and quite particular example would be if I’m a trading, I could claim protective clothing.

That includes high vis steel cap boots, sunglasses. There’s also occupation specific. So if I’m a chef who claim chef pants, the hat that they use, let’s say scrubs as a nurse and interesting one is the lawyers. Do you know how they have that wig?

Captain Fi: Ah, yes. The big wigs. So they could

Minh: claim that other one would be compulsory uniform.

So let’s say McDonald’s just cut the logo. You can tell that that person works in that specific company. So Woolworths, and then there’s also

Captain Fi: government. Okay, that makes sense. So you can’t just go ahead and say, Oh, I’m gonna claim these Levi [00:11:00] jeans cuz I did some paperwork whil wearing them. That doesn’t really cut the mustard does it?

In ?

Minh: Yeah. ACO quite tough with this cuz people are buying, let’s say Gucci bag at the Gucci shoes and they’re saying, all this is specific for my work industry. I need this. But the ATF. It’s not specific. If you had steel cap boots and they’ll From Gucci. Yeah. Maybe they’ll let you off , but we’ll wait until Gucci starts to design those boots.

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Institute Review, build your portfolio of digital real estate and start using websites to make money today. Look, with Covid 19 and the big shift to working from home, are there any sort of deductions people can look at claiming from working from home?

Minh: There definitely has been a shift in the melts and types of deductions due to employees having to work from home.

Normally, you would work in your employer’s, And the running costs would be paid by the employer. So the running costs being electricity, internet, computer, having to work from home, you employee will be consuming more electricity, more internet data, phone calls. So yeah, to claim the working from home expense, you can choose one of three categories.

It’s either shot method, which was introduced during the covid 19 period, and my opinion is, is the easiest method claim, the shortcut method during the below. So it’ll be the 1st of March, 2020 [00:13:00] to the 30th of June, 2020, and then from the 1st of July, 2020 to the 30th of June, 2022. You can claim 80 cents per hour, and that covers any furniture or office furniture you’ve purchased, your electricity costs, your internet.

You have to have a dedicated work area. So that means a room that’s being used to yourself only. So you can’t be working in your lounge room and claiming. Expenses, you need to keep a diary or excel record of the number of hours you spent working. So the good thing about this is there’s no requirement to keep receipts or tax invoice, but I will still suggest you keep just in case the A come and ask, All right, you’ve spent this number of hours, can you prove that you’ve worked on these days?


Captain Fi: you gotta be able to substantiate any of your claims. Yeah, that’s

Minh: right. Sector one would be the fixed rate method. So with the fixed rate method that covers office equipment, office furniture, Electricity also includes cleaning. You can claim [00:14:00] 52 cents per hour, same scenario as the first one. Need dedicated work area, Keep a diarrhea, Excel.

Record the numbers of hours you spent working. Receipts and tax invoices of the expense. You need to keep those. There’s electricity, internet, mobile land, and any station there. Third one would be the actual cost method. You claim. The actual cost you pay, but your portion of the private and work related part, so you still need the dedicated work area.

That’s a separate route to yourself. Diary, Excel, record. And the

Captain Fi: number of hours you spent working. Okay. The shortcut seems to be the simple one, but in all cases, you really do need to basically have good records and keep records about what you’re doing. Things like receipts, purchases, bills, and that kind of stuff.

But what could you claim if you didn’t have receipts? Can you even climb stuff without receipts? Best option is if you don’t.

Minh: Don’t claim it, it’s just too dangerous

Captain Fi: what you’re trying to do. Yeah, of course. Cuz there’s some pretty [00:15:00] serious penalties as well for making false declarations. Like what kind of things can happen if you make misleading or false statements in your tax return.

Worst case

Minh: scenario, you go to jail, best case, which is the common one, is the will review it and they’ll disallow the deduction. Wow,

Captain Fi: okay. So that’s a pretty big spectrum. So on one hand I guess it sounds like a slap on the wrist. On the other hand it’s, Hey, you going to the big. Yeah, that’s

Minh: right. Theta would normally disallow the deduction.

They will amend your tax return, and if you did receive a refund, you would have to pay some of it back. If you had a payable, then yeah, there would just be an extra bit of tax to it. But the serious side of it, if you’ve actually committed it, And it’s a large deduction. So they, they will then say, Hey, look, you’ve now committed tax fraud or refund fraud.

And that’s more of the serious side. That’s, that’s what they consider a criminal

Captain Fi: offense. So I can understand if people make genuine mistakes, like they accidentally do things or maybe they don’t know. But if you are aware of the laws and [00:16:00] you deliberately commit tax fraud, I don’t think they’re gonna be very sympathetic towards.

No way, man. . And it’s funny because I mentioned that I had that really high bill before I, I was actually super glad that I went to this specialist aviation accountant because I did get audited by the ato and they were just like, Oh, there’s no way man. And it was cuz I had a lot of work related self-education expenses.

And the irony of course was after they ordered me, the accountant, the fee included insurance for this kind of thing. They did the audit and they actually worked out, they had to give me more money, . So my deductions were actually higher after the audit, which was. So when you submit your tax, there’s always questions about work related self education expenses.

And I’ve personally claimed them in the past with respect to aviation just because it is quite an expensive industry. But for people that aren’t very familiar with it, what is a work related? [00:17:00] Self education expense and when or how might people be able to claim courses they’ve been doing? So a lot of

Minh: individuals get caught out and audited by the ATO for incorrectly claiming self education expenses.

Not many people realize that they have to first reduce. The education expense by $250. And then you can only claim self education expense if it’s a formal qualification. So what I mean by formal qualification is, let’s say I’m studying a bachelor’s degree or or certificate or diploma, and there’s also extra conditions that you need to meet.

So those extra conditions is, there must be a connection with your current. So, let’s use an example. Cause I’m an accountant, that’s the best example. So let’s say you’re studying an MBA and you are in a managerial position. So that’s where you can say, Alright, based on my position and what I’m studying, this will help.

Improve my [00:18:00] skills and knowledge and it would likely result in an increase in my income. Again, those three conditions are, there must be a connection with my current employment. It must be to maintain or improve my. Skill or knowledge likely to result in an increase to my income. So the expenses that you can claim would be your tuition fees.

That’s if you paid it yourself. So if it was subsidized either by, I think they call it hex now or help, then no, you’re not able to claim the expense. But you could claim textbooks stationary. Your internet portion of your laptop, tablet, mobile, and public transport from

Captain Fi: home to school. Okay? So it’s definitely not just as simple as, Hey, I went to uni.

It costs me this much. I can claim it all. That probably just highlights the need that it’s worth going and spending some money talking to an accountant. Look, now this next question’s probably a bit of a hard one. But I’m gonna ask it anyway. What are some ways that people can be a bit more efficient when it comes to their tax?

So [00:19:00] for example, structuring their business or their finances or investments. Is there a way as an accountant that you know that people can just can pay less tax? Or is it some ways people can start looking into that to reduce their tax bills? Number one

Minh: would. Go see your accountant. But everyone’s got different plans.

They’ve got different ideas, and the complexity comes with asking the right question. So we’ll have a meeting together. We’ll ask you what’s your business involved in? Where do you see yourself in five, 10 years time? Will there be a transition from yourself to your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, even?

And that’s where we can say, based on this information and what your requirements are, we can provide you better. So people get caught out with, how do I reduce my tax? Oh, I don’t wanna pay too much taxes. But they don’t realize that paying tax is what helps our economy grow in a way. School fees, taxes are used to pay for.

School, they’re paid for. Our roads, infrastructure, there’s more things to it. That’s where paying the [00:20:00] right amount of tax

Captain Fi: is ideal. We have legal requirements and you’re not trying to shirk your responsibilities as a citizen and look, having lived all over the world, I am super grateful to be an Australian citizen and live here, and I’m more than happy to pay my fair share of tax.

And the good news is, if you’re paying tax, that means you are making. So That’s right. What’s the issue? But the big takeaway for me is that everyone’s situations are unique and difference is really no one size fits all category. So it does make sense to pop down, see a local accountant, and actually start having these hard discussions.

Yeah, that’s right. The other

Minh: thing is people generally jump into it, I’m gonna buy investment property in my name, or I’m gonna buy in a trust, or something like that. But then when they decide to sell it, they don’t realize, Hey, why am I paying so much taxes now? Whereas if they bought it in a different structure, and sold it.

Then they realized, all right, this is [00:21:00] another way we can reduce the tax, where they can do proper tax planning. Yeah,

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Captain Fire. Awesome man. I just wanna change gears a little bit [00:22:00] now and ask you a couple more personal questions, if that’s alright? Yep, sure. Yeah. Okay. So I love delving into this. We’ll get a bit nosy on the podcast and ask about people’s financial daily laundry. So Min, what’s your money journey been like?

You went to uni and you’re a finance professional. What has that meant in terms of like your savings and investment and your relationship with money? Yeah,

Minh: it’s been wild. My parents came from Vietnam. They escaped during the war, so pretty much with nothing. And they hustled. They worked hard. They planned and they organized themselves to have assets for themselves, so then they can slowly transition to retirement inadvertently, they taught me not to be materialistic.

Others that are less fortunate than us, what we have, we should appreciate from there. I’ve worked since I was 14, 15, and I’ve worked. So the value of money, you gotta understand that it’s something that helps you develop yourself in a way where you learn how to save, learn how to spend. I was [00:23:00] fortunate that my parents helped me with my investment journey.

They helped me put down a deposit. For a property in Melbourne. So from then I’ve been hooked onto investing and trying to look at how to build that asset growth and how to transition myself to slow down, not retire, but slow down and have that flexibility of. Doing what I

Captain Fi: would want to do. So I’m from Adelaide and there’s a huge migrant community here, and actually it’s pretty amazing to consider, like particularly some Vietnamese refugees that came to Adelaide with nothing and a lot of the Vietnamese community.

Began farming and buying land and property, and it’s been an incredible financial plan and choice because many of them now are super wealthy due to like just sheer growth in property. A lot of those farms, market gardens are being broken up and sold for residential property, so it’s. Pretty amazing to show the power of what hard work and [00:24:00] sacrifice and those compounding gains do over time.

And I can’t actually remember his name, but I’m pretty sure at one point our Lord Mayor of Adelaide came to Adelaide as a refugee with nothing and built his career, moved into politics and then yeah, became a fairly successful politician. So it is awesome. And there brought a lot of really cool stuff to Adelaide.

I love the. Cuisine as well. So you mentioned you started in property, but you’re also interested in building other assets, so I’m assuming that’s kinda like shares or managed funds and that kind of stuff. Would you be able to share a little bit about how you manage your money, your budget, and what kind of things you are investing in?

Minh: So I’m investing in shares, direct stocks, either in Australian stocks or US stocks. And the second one would just be property. So those two are my main ones. I have a high risk profile, so I tend to buy and sell, buy and sell, and I’m quickly in and out. That’s where I [00:25:00] say different people have different risks profiles, and they have different ideas.

Some people would be, I’m gone by a specific share. I’m gonna hold it for X number of. And that’s how comfortable they, they are. They’ve done their research, I believe, and they’re comfortable with what they want to do. Whereas for me, I’m comfortable with buying and selling. I do. Some stocks for long term, but I’m just active, more

Captain Fi: active in the money.

Interesting. I think we might have some opposing views there. I don’t know if you’ve read too many of my posts, but I am not very good at share trading. I have lost money share trading before, so I tend to just do the boring index stuff. But again, as you said, it all depends. Individuals risk tolerance and what they want to do.

Yeah. But interesting. So has that been profitable for you? Have you been able to beat the index or is it just you do it cuz you enjoy it? Yeah. And

Minh: miss some of the stocks, I haven’t done so well. That’s where you gotta learn, alright. You’ve gotta cut your loss at a [00:26:00] certain amount. You can’t just drag your feet and say, All right, you’ll come back.

You’ll come back one day. You’ll come back. That’s where you gotta understand. All right. I’ve made that last. Cut it and then look at

Captain Fi: something else that’s giving me anxiety just talking about this. I guess when you do that trading and buying individual shares, man, it opens up like a whole new world of knowledge and experience that you need to do that successfully.

And yeah, those, those are skills and experience that I don’t personally have. And that’s where a lot

Minh: of people listen to your podcast and follow you. They’re not willing to take that risk or they’re not willing to put in that extra work. So they say, All right, I’m gonna go on the CAP blog. I’m gonna look at what he’s doing.

Cause you know, success leaves clues. What you’ve done so far today has worked. And people gravitate to that, so it’s slow. I steady, people may think it’ll take 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 years, but they don’t realize there’s a compounding of it. If they put that extra money in,

Captain Fi: then they’ll see it grow. That’s a really interesting point about the [00:27:00] whole, you said successfully clues or people want to achieve what you’ve achieved.

I’ve never professed to be an expert and I’m just going along. I figure it out myself and I have to be careful because I don’t want to influence anyone. Financial investments. All right. Especially, there’s been some stuff in the news recently about influences and that sort of not being kosher, so I do just want to reiterate that.

Look, the stuff that I. Posted and talk about has just been my personal experience and just as we said with the tax side of the house, you probably should go and see a tax accountant and not make it up yourself. It’s probably worthwhile, most people going and and talking to a financial advisor before they start making serious investments because not everyone’s situation is the same.

It’s just a shame that there are some issues with access and affordability to financial advisors. But yeah, it is seeming like a bit of a mur. Place to be in

Minh: at the moment? Yeah, just with things that are going on in in the economy, it’s just a lot of things are changing. It’s [00:28:00] not like how it was 10 years ago where people can listen to someone.

They can go into a meeting or seminar and you could buy this, you could buy that. There’s good and bad things to it cuz there were a lot of property brokers back then. So that’s where. Now regulation has changed that with the changes in regulation, it’s good and bad. Sometimes it’s there to protect you, but sometimes it can be too restrictive.

Now with the acid flint influence stuff, not many people would do their own research, to be honest. They’ll look at something, but they won’t go just that extra bit into it and could put themselves or their financial ideas and look at it.

Captain Fi: Interesting. Oh, speaking of influences and financial influence, What have been some of the biggest influences in your money journey?

So you mentioned your parents were a huge part of that. Yeah. But have you read the awesome books or have you had any other mentors or experiences that have shaped your financial journey? Like most of the

Minh: listeners or guests on [00:29:00] the podcast? I would say, uh, Reading Rich Dad Poor, that got me into investing Rich’s Man in Babylon.

That was awesome. It just opens your eyes and mind to see how to build wealth. How to get into investing. It’s just reading those books, understanding how they got there, understanding the psychology of it. My, the other one would be my mortgage broker. So whenever I have any ideas, whether it be investing in property shares, businesses, or anything, that’s who I.

I can talk to you, so I’ll go to him. He’s got the experience as well. So it’s the community around you. So it’s pretty much books. My mortgage broker that’s given me these ideas as well as your podcast. I’ll listen to it. You have very good guests on them. And they have their ideas as well. So it’s just listening and understanding.

Captain Fi: Yeah, it’s, the networking stuff’s really important, isn’t it? I’ve heard the saying. Your [00:30:00] network is your network and have having all these people around you that you can ask and building a trusted team, I think is crucial in building wealth. So Min, it’s been awesome. We’ve had a great chat. I’m just gonna finish.

By asking the final question that I ask everyone. Totally not first or financial advice. Yeah. But generally, mate, what advice would you give someone on the path to financial independence?

Minh: My advice would be we get so bogged down in, in achieving financial independence, so trying to find ways or means to make a quick gain.

It’s a slow and daunting process, but being aware and starting small will get you to your goal of being financial independent. As we mentioned before, success leaves. So follow and study the people who have what you want. Um, talk to them, ask them, and you will notice it’s their daily habits or attitude towards money that has gotten

Captain Fi: them there.

I’m super glad you came on me and been able to share your lessons and your experience. In your industry for the [00:31:00] broader people? Cuz I imagine there’s probably quite a lot of people that haven’t actually seen an accountant, cuz a lot of people do just submit their own tax returns. So my big takeaway is there’s actually a lot of benefit to going and seeing an accountant because they can dot the I and cross the Ts.

Not only are they gonna get you more in your tax return, but they’re gonna make sure it’s bloody compliant. And so you reduce all of that risk, like you said about so you’re getting audited or potentially if you’re stuffing. Your return and inadvertently making a false claims on your tax. So it just seems like a cheap insurance.

That’s right. Just avoid that jail time . Yeah, no, that’s free accommodation and food. That could be jail fire could be a way start from there.

Minh: So that’ll help you save your money. Another thing was with the accounting fees or tax accountants fees, it’s also tax deductible so you go see them, they charge you their fee to prepare your tax return.

You can then claim that as a deduction in the next. When you do your tax return, that’s another incentive. Push [00:32:00] yourself, go see them. They can claim a bit more. Plus their fees are tax

Captain Fi: deductible. Yeah, that’s brilliant. Yeah. So just finishing up Min, if there’s anyone out there that’s interested in tax law or is thinking about becoming an accountant, maybe they have started this study or maybe they haven’t yet, is there any advice, like career advice you would give to these people?


Minh: a. Yeah, challenging career. You learn a lot dealing with different type of people whilst having to keep up with the constant changes to the tax legislation and deadlines. Every year there’s federal budget that comes out. I’m doing that now. I’m trying to read through it, understand it, so then I can advise my clients.

But with students or anyone that’s studying, what I would suggest then they do is take that extra step and study online with another course. So with your bachelor’s degree, it’s so. That it covers a lot of accounting knowledge and information, whereas tax account, it’s more like a specific industry. Go online, have a look at what [00:33:00] people provide as training.

That’s my advice. So once you go into work, you can hit the ground running part of the tax log, how to prepare tax return

Captain Fi: even. So it’s about add. Just making sure that you have that specialist knowledge in tax law. Now it sounds complex. It sounds a lot more complicated than I thought it was, and so it sounds like a pretty challenging.

Sort of career with lifelong professional development? I, Is it what you expected when you first got into it?

Minh: No, it wasn’t what I expected. I thought like everyone, assuming everyone thinks is you go in, give the information to your accountant, and then they crunch the numbers, count the beans in the back room, and then his tax return.

No, it’s more like building that relationship. It could be, first you’re dealing with mom and dad, and then later on you’re dealing with the children and then you’re dealing with. The family group, so it’s a bit more involved helping generation grow their wealth.

Captain Fi: Hey Min, thanks so much for your time today, mate.

It’s been a blast having you on. Really appreciate your time and your effort [00:34:00] answering all the questions today. I hope everyone got a lot out of it, but my big takeaway is go and make friends with an accountant, .

Minh: Yeah, that’s right. Some of them even give free advice, but just be careful what they say.

Recommendation is

Captain Fi: always the best word of mouth. Can’t beat it. All right. You have a lovely sunny. Tropical, humid Darwin afternoon and uh, don’t get up to too much mischief mate. . Yeah.

Thanks for listening to another episode of the Captain Fire Financial Independence Podcast. To read the transcript or check out the show notes, head over to for all the details. If you have a question for the captain, make sure to get in touch. You might even make it on the airwaves.

You can reach me online through the Captain Fire contact form. Or get in touch through the socials. I’m active on Facebook and Instagram, as well as a number of online finance [00:35:00] and investing forums. And finally, remember the information presented on the show and the links provided are for general information purposes only. They should not be taken as constituting professional financial advice. You should always do your own research when making any financial decisions and make sure it’s appropriate for your personal circumstance

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