2017 Tax Agents
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Canstar Blue reviews and rates professional tax agents Etax, H&R Block and Income Tax Professionals on advice provided, customer service, turnaround time, website navigation, ease of application, value for money and overall customer satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in June 2017, published in June 2017.
See our Ratings Methodology.
H&R Block on top for tax agents
As Benjamin Franklin once said, only two things in life are certain – death and taxes. There’s not much you can do about the former, but when it comes to your taxes, there are plenty of people queuing up to help. But who can you trust? If you’re considering using a tax agent to make life a little easier, our customer reviews and ratings are worth considering. We’ve surveyed hundreds of adults across Australia to find out which tax agents are delivering the goods when the end of financial year rolls around. You’ll clearly want the best return you can get, so it pays to do your homework on personal tax agents.
Three of the most prominent tax agents in Australia have featured in our inaugural review, with Etax, H&R Block and Income Tax Professionals rated on factors including customer service, ease of application, turnaround time, advice, value for money and overall satisfaction. When you put your tax return in the hands of professionals, you expect them to do a great job on all fronts. If they don’t, you should consider your options.
In 2017, our survey of close to 700 Australian adults found H&R Block to be rated highest for overall customer satisfaction. It also achieved five-star reviews across most research categories, with the exception of value for money, where it picked up a still respectable four stars. Income Tax Professionals was rated four stars overall, with Etax behind on three stars. However, both rated highly in some specific areas:
- Etax earned top marks for website navigation and value for money
- Income Tax Professional recorded five stars on customer service, ease of application and turnaround time
The research identified value for money as the greatest driver of customer satisfaction when it comes to hiring a tax agent, which makes perfect sense – we all want the best tax return we can get, at the minimum expense of our time and money. But consumers also want tax agents that deliver on quality personal advice, make the application process as easy as possible, and ensure a speedy turnaround.
If you’re considering whether or not to pay a tax agent to assist with your tax return, consider that 82% of respondents to our survey – who have used a tax agent in the last two years – said they would do so again.
Why use a tax agent?
When you can do something yourself, why would you want to pay someone else to do it? Well, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to leave your personal tax return in the hands of the professionals. Our survey respondents picked the following reasons:
- I wanted to maximise my return and thought an agent would do a better job: 64%
- I wanted to save time by having someone else do my tax return for me: 27%
- I don’t know how to file a personal tax return myself: 20%
Clearly Aussies want to maximise their tax returns, but professional tax agent don’t always come cheap – our survey found that most consumers spent the best part of $200 the last time they used one for their tax return. You will have to decide whether or not it’s worth the money.
What do we spend our tax returns on?
The day your tax return drops into your bank account is a great one. But what are you going to do with the cash? We asked survey respondents to tell us what they did with their money last year and found that:
- 31% put it in a savings account
- 28% spent it paying off bills
- 8% put it towards a holiday
- 6% put it towards an investment (i.e. car or home)
- 6% spent it on things for the family and/or kids
- 2% wasted it on things they didn’t really need
A further 4% spent it on other things, while 14% didn’t get a tax return last year.
Whatever you plan to do with your bonus cash, make sure you get the best deal you can from a tax agent. Just 31% of consumers compared offers from different tax agents before agreeing to their terms. Failing to do so could mean you pay more than you need to, or don’t get the level of service and advice you want. With that in mind, we hope our tax agent review proves helpful the next time you’re shopping around.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have applied for a personal tax return through a professional tax agents in the last 2 years – in this case, 694 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.