Where is my refund?

This information outlines the common circumstances when a tax credit owed to you will be either:

  • offset against a tax debt you owe
  • retained until you provide additional information.

It also explains when you will need to request that the credit be refunded to you.

Generally, after we have processed your income tax return or activity statement, you will either owe money (a tax debt), or we will owe you money (a refund).

Occasionally, you may not receive your refund, or the refund you receive may be less than you expected. This occurs because there are situations where we are entitled (under Part IIB of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (TAA)) to retain part of, or all of, your refund. This can occur for a number of reasons:

  • We have kept part, or all of your refund to apply it against a tax debt that you owe us – this process is known as offsetting.
  • We may use a credit balance from one of your other tax accounts to pay a tax debt you owe and subsequently receive a payment from you in relation to that tax debt. As a result, your account may be placed in credit and your payment becomes what is called a voluntary payment, and is not automatically refunded.
  • We have retained your refund because you haven't nominated a bank account for us to pay your refund into, or the bank account details you provided are incorrect or incomplete.
  • We have retained your refund because you have not lodged one or more of your activity statements.
  • We have retained the refund because we need to check, or verify with you, some details shown on your return or activity statement.
    Last modified: 21 Jun 2016QC 18637