Can you imagine if we could choose to pay only for the government services that we consume? I often wonder if this would be a good choice for me, as I think that I would lie below the cost curve in comparison to the amount of tax revenue that I generate.

My public education costs ended in the 90s, then I paid my way through uni. I’ve never received social security.

Mostly, I have been relatively healthy and I’ve always had private health insurance for any of the big ticket items. I am allergic to public transport, and my car’s annual registration and fuel taxes more than cover the cost of the roads, surely.

I won’t voice an opinion on the ‘Defence’ budget, but sure, there’s some bigger picture stuff in here that is best to not comment on!

But equally, I don’t have the time or the budget to run my own private defence team or have my own medical staff, so this is a fool’s errand to consider. Best just to give them the money and hope for the best… unless you shoot yourself into space, I guess the best option is to pay taxes.

And you know what? I absolutely love getting an email from my ever-suffering accountant to tell me that I have a large tax bill to pay over and above my PAYG income tax. Because…it means that I made a lot of money on my share trading! Wooo, tax!

There’s a few ways that you can manage your multiple ins and outs and dividends and capital returns and share splits and consolidations and interest payments and gains and losses. You still need to then put your findings in a tax return, and may or may not need an accountant to do it, this is just about collecting all the correct info.

Option One – do it yourself.
Option Two – get a portfolio management tool.

As a paperwork-lazy individual, some of the best advice I received from my accountant was to convert my tax treatment to a ‘trader’ from an ‘investor’. I was trading a lot, wasn’t holding stocks for very long, so the 12-month capital gains discount weren’t that important – and any long term holdings could always sit in an separate ‘investment account’.

I wasn’t getting dividends due to the stocks I trade. And even if I did, they would just go back into my linked Macquarie Bank account and I would forward the bank statement to my accountant. (But get your own tax advice, I paid for mine!)

But the main advantage was that all I need to do now is send him the full year of transactions, the beginning balance and the closing balance, as well as any deposits and withdrawals. My tax payable on shares is now as simple as ‘closing balance minus opening balance, times my margin tax rate’. Not realised and unrealised this or that.

But I still have to get all this info from my broker, which is of course Marketech, the best one!

So we offer some simple portfolio tools for tax time, like a CSV download of all of your transaction records that you can then email straight off, portfolio valuations at certain dates – and most importantly, you have your own Macquarie Bank account where you get your own banking portal to move your own money around, and keep your own interest in and get your own tax reports from. Which is all perfectly sufficient for many traders that can follow simple instructions from their accountant!

But, some people are buy-and-hold investors, who might get a 12-month discount on some of their capital gains. They might buy blue-chips that pay dividends, and some are unfranked, partially franked or fully franked. Or they might get a capital return, or the company might spin out another business with its own cost-base, and they might even buy ETFs with some of the most complicated tax structures imaginable.

There are even a couple of companies on the ASX where you don’t have to pay capital gains tax at all! So, to manage all that, and save yourselves a lot of time to focus on being a better trader, and to save a hell of a lot of accounting bills you will probably benefit from a proper portfolio management tool.

The best one, from what we can tell, is Sharesight. You can check them out here.

I know some of the old dinosaur brokers offer some tax tools as a ‘free’ service, but when comparing their brokerage rates to ours you know it’s not really free. It’s just included as a cost that you pay for in the cost of transacting, whether you use the tools or not.

Sharesight starts from $0 a month, so this is hard to beat. You get some portfolio reports for free for the first 10 stocks, then it blows out to $19 a month for up to 20 stocks, then to an unbelievable $31 a month for up to three separate portfolios and unlimited stocks and benchmarking against the markets and even an integration with Xero!

At worst it is $48, for the person who always has to have the best of everything… and 25% off if you lock in for 12 months – and it’s tax deductible! What is your time worth?!

To put it in perspective, for the cost of doing one normal-sized trade at your old bank-broker per month someone will save you a hell of a lot of time doing all the running around, and then will save you all the hours that your accountant charges you doing it for you, and give you a portal to monitor your performance and spit out reports for you.

So why am I cross promoting a tax reporting platform? (We don’t get a scrape on the fees if that’s what you’re thinking.)

Well, firstly, we’re all about fee for service. We do brokerage on our $45 a month subscription product at cost, making us the only non-conflicted broker in Australia that doesn’t need you to churn your portfolio – to the best of my knowledge. And if you want an additional service, like portfolio reporting, we would need to build it, manage it and staff it, and it would definitely cost more to provide that service than $0 a month!

Secondly, we’re a tech company. Meaning we use the ‘connected services’ model, rather than the ‘try to be good at everything’ model that most fail at. So we connected our class leading live-streaming mobile trading platform to Sharesight via the Sharesight API, so everything you do on our class leading live-streaming mobile trading platform will update overnight to your Sharesight account, if you choose to have one, automatically. And all you need to do is click the link in our platform, type in your Sharesight account number and you’re done.

So, now, in a combined tech partnership with Sharesight we look better by association (as do they, but more so!), and their estimated 200,000+ clients can’t be wrong. We now offer all the portfolio tools you’ll need, if you need them, saving you valuable time and money and keeping the tax man off your back about your terrible record-keeping.

So if you want the best trading platform, at the best rates of brokerage, connected to the best portfolio management tools, to help you calculate the tax you’re paying to help your fellow citizens in the best country in the world – then look no further.

And if you want a road or a school or a hospital named after you, this fabulous combo will free up a lot of time for you to learn how to be better at trading and investing, and save you a lot of money along the way, so your accounting bill and your tax bill will not hurt anywhere as much as it did previously. Even if the tax bill is higher than it was, as you’ll need to pay a lot of tax to get anywhere close to getting those named after you.
In the meantime I’ll take an aircraft carrier thanks Mr Frydenberg, it was quite the year!

At Marketech our platform is about technology, providing you the tools and technology to trade.  We encourage our high-function trading platform to get you live pricing, live charts, live market depth to ensure you have the tools and trading capability at your fingertips, and on your mobile phone or PC.

You trade your own stock on your individual HIN. It is your cash in your own Macquarie account where you keep the competitive interest you earn.

Our subscribers get access to brokerage starting at $5, and then 0.02 per cent for trades over $25k.  If you want to trade the market you need immediate access wherever you are and the seamless Marketech mobile app means you are live anywhere anytime.

Go to www.marketech.com.au to set up a free trial – you will be astounded by the simplicity and tools that this technology gives you.  No spin, just low-cost trading and the tools that give you advantage over hype.

This article was developed in collaboration with Marketech Stockbroking Pty Ltd (AFSL 486148), a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing. This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.