Australia’s second-largest retail tax agent, POP UP TAX SHOP, and MR TAX REFUND, Australia’s largest over-the-phone specialist tax agent, have been acquired by Queensland Firm, ACCOUNTANTS DIRECT.
Mr Tax Refund was incorporated in 2012 and majority-owned by online lender, Paid International. In January 2015, Paid was sold to ASX listed, Money3 Corp Ltd.
Mr Tax Refund founder, Stephen Burns, wholly acquired Mr Tax Refund in 2015, and soon thereafter, he acquired Pop Up Tax Shop – which is Perth’s dominant retail tax agent – and expanded the business exclusively into all of Perth’s major shopping centres and the Eastern States.
Since the introduction of MyTax in 2017– the ATO’s free tax lodgement service – it has resulted in the first-ever contraction of the Australian tax preparation service industry since H&R Block founded it in 1971. This decline has been mainly due to low-income clients who pay little tax and therefore have limited opportunity for deductions.
“The demand for qualified tax advice will grow, as the ATO is reaching deeper into the wallets of middle-income Australians,” said Burns. “The merged group will target middle Australia who have been overtaxed and will continue to be overtaxed in the absence of adequate advice and planning.”
Accountants Direct have opened a division dedicated to amending and relodging DIY tax returns, along with helping clients with personal bookkeeping to ensure the ATO is happy. Called the Extra Tax Refund Program, their target for the program is DIYs and people who have had inexperienced professional tax advice.
“Many of our former clients are returning after realising that they are thousands of dollars better off using us,” he said. “Be careful in relying on MyTax to dictate how much tax you should pay. Often, you’ll be short-changed.”
The operations of the acquired businesses will be fully integrated with Accountants Direct who are headquartered in Queensland. This financial year the expanded tax group expects to lodge up to twenty thousand tax returns and service over thirteen thousand individual and business clients from over 30 locations, nationally.