Frequently Asked Questions

Our Services

Are you a registered Tax Agent?

Yes, in order to provide Australian tax advice and/or tax preparation services, a person/company MUST be a registered Tax Agent. Our company, Expat Tax Services and our principal, Shane Macfarlane are both registered tax agents, as are a number of our team in their own right!

Our Tax Agent Number is 25220543. You can view our registration on the Tax Practitioner’s Board website located here.

Do you prepare Australian tax returns?

Yes we do. In fact preparing Australian tax returns is what we do most!

For almost 15 years we’ve specialised in the preparation of Australian tax returns for Aussie expats living and working in every corner of the globe across almost 100 countries (96 countries at last count in June 2021), and for foreign expats living and working in Australia.
 Preparing tax returns on behalf of our expat clients represents approximately 70% the work that we do in any given year. The rest of our work largely comprises of the provision of tax advisory and other services to our clients.
If you need any assistance in preparing and lodging your Australian tax returns, reach out to our team as we’d be more than happy to assist.

What other services do you provide?

Besides preparing Australian tax returns for for Australian expats living and working in every corner of the world, and for foreign expats living and working in Australia we also offer the following services:

  • Australian Tax Advice – We provide Australian expatriate tax advisory services (in an international context), to Australian and foreign expats located all over the globe;
  • US & UK Tax Advice – We have experience in US and UK tax compliance obligations, and with the help of our partner firms can assist to ensure you receive practical advice that you need;
  • Foreign Tax Returns – We are able to assist with the preparation and review your US, UK, Canadian and other country tax returns through various partner firms located around the globe;
  • Tax planning services for you and your business so that your tax can be legitimately minimised, practically, legally and efficiently;
  • Tax Structuring services for you and your business that minimise your taxation and administrative burdens as efficiently as possible; and,
  • Much more – just ask us!

I need some advice. How do I book an appointment?

Do you provide unlimited support for your tax returns?

Is Expat Tax Services a Chartered Accounting firm or a CPA firm?

Where are your clients located?


How are your tax returns priced?

Unlike most accounting firms, we refuse to charge you hourly rates!  Why? There’s so many reasons why, but suffice to say that we think that hourly rates are grossly unfair to our clients.

We believe hourly rates reward service providers like accountants and lawyers for their own inefficiencies, because the more inefficient they are, the more profit they make and that’s simply not fair to you!
As we mentioned above, at Expat Tax Services we refuse to charge hourly rates – our fees are fixed. But this doesn’t mean that we’ll seek to charge you as much as we think we can get away with either! Instead, every client in our client base generally pays the same base, standard fee for the same work.
If their affairs are more complicated than most, then we’ll add various increments to their base, standard fee, but typically, most (approximately 70%) of our clients simply pay the base standard fee and nothing more.
To learn more about our base, standard fee and our pricing generally, reach out to our team below:

Do you offer any discounts?

No, as a general principle we do not discount our fees. As a fixed price accounting firm, we try as hard as possible to provide you, and all of our clients with as much bang for your buck as possible.

As a result, and because there’s only ever a maximum amount of profit that we can ever make on any client engagement, we simply don’t have the room to move. Hence why we don’t discount our fees.
Having said that, there is ONLY one occasion when we will consider reducing our fees, and that is when a client is well behind on their taxes with a least 3 years worth of tax returns outstanding.
In that instance, if we estimate that we can achieve some time savings by preparing multiple tax returns at once, then with the aim of establishing a long term relationship with you, we’re prepared to share those time savings with you in the form of slightly reduced fees, if and where we can.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

Great question! Yes we do!

We know that it’s often quite a leap of faith to make a booking for the first time with somebody that you don’t know!
Accordingly we offer all our clients an ironclad, no questions asked, money-back guarantee so that any service that we provide to you is totally risk-free!
So, once you’ve had your appointment with us, if you are not satisfied with the service that you received, or if we were unable to answer your questions to your satisfaction, we guarantee that we will refund the fee that you paid, in full with no questions asked!
That way, there is absolutely no risk to you. So, why wait? Book a tax consultation and get your tax questions resolved today!

In order to claim your refund, please ensure that you request your refund within 30 days from the completion of any service rendered by our firm to you.

Please note that where any payment processing fees have been deducted from your fee (e.g. when you choose to pay us via PayPal or via credit card), those amounts will not be refunded as we are unable to claim those back from our various payment processing platforms.

Why are your fees charged in USD?

That’s a great question and it’s one that we are often asked! There’s actually a few reasons why we generally charge our fees in US dollars.

  1. Firstly, unlike most Australian accounting practices, three of our offices and the majority of our team are located outside of Australia. As such, a large proportion of our costs and expenses are denominated in USD. Therefore, in order to minimise our exposure to foreign exchange losses, our fees are charged in USD also.
  2. As we are a fixed fee accounting firm, with only so much profit that we can make on any job, reducing our exposure to foreign exchange losses becomes critically important as we simply don’t have the margin to move!
  3. Additionally, with clients in close to 100 countries around the world at last count (96 countries as at 30 June 2021), most of our clients operate and earn their income in USD and so are used to making payments in USD.
As a result of the above, we invoice our clients in USD rather than AUD.
I Want To Be Billed in AUD
However, if you wish to be billed in AUD or in an alternative currency, just let us know.
We’d be happy to invoice you in your preferred currency. Please bear in mind though in doing so, we’ll convert your fee from USD into your preferred currency at the spot rate (as per Google’s quoted exchange rate) at the time of invoicing.

I'm based in Australia. Can you invoice me in AUD?

Yes, in fact our standard practice is to bill Australia based clients in Australian dollars rather than USD.

Clients located in all other regions of the world are billed in USD
If you are not based in Australia and you wish to be billed in AUD, please make that request prior to accepting our standard engagement agreement.  Upon such a request, we will invoice you in AUD (converted from USD at the spot rate as per Google at the time of invoicing).