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  • Requesting priority processing

    If your circumstances are putting you under financial difficulties or serious hardship, you may be eligible for priority processing of your return.

    Applying for priority processing due to financial difficulties or serious hardship doesn't guarantee a refund. It could also result in a requirement to pay an outstanding debt with us or other Australian government agencies.

    If you have an outstanding debt with another Australian government agency, such as Services Australia (Centrelink or Child Support), you should also contact them to discuss your circumstances.

    On this page:

    Before you apply

    Before you request priority processing, visit Tracking the progress of your return to check the status of your return.

    You may not need to lodge a request for priority processing if your return is in its final stages of processing. Your return may be already finalised before we have had an opportunity to consider your request.

    If you have already lodged your return you can phone us on 13 28 61 to discuss the progress of your return.

    If you haven't lodged your return, make sure you do so before requesting priority processing. The quickest and easiest way to lodge your return is by using our online services.

    If your return is not in the final stages of processing, review your eligibility through either:

    Ensure you have the evidence required to support your request. If you don't provide this evidence, your request may be denied or delayed.

    Your evidence should support your current financial circumstances, and so any documents you provide should be dated within four weeks of your submission.

    See also:

    How to apply

    You can apply for priority processing to us by fax or through a tax professional.

    Submit a request by fax

    Fax the documentation to support your priority processing request to 1300 730 298. You must include:    

    • a cover letter outlining reasons for requesting priority processing of your return
    • the words 'financial difficulties or serious hardship'
    • your tax file number (TFN)
    • your full name, contact phone number, address and signature
    • copies of the required documentary evidence (to support your current financial circumstances, documents you provide should be dated within four weeks of your submission).

    Submit a request through a tax professional

    A registered tax professional can submit a request for priority processing on your behalf.

    When your agent is requesting priority processing, they will be required to provide evidence to support your application. Ensure you provide documentary evidence to your agent.

    What happens next

    We will notify you once we receive your request and documentary evidence. We will contact you if we require more information.

    We may need more time to process your return if:

    • you are a customer of another Australian government agency, including Services Australia (Centrelink or Child Support)
    • you have lodged income tax returns or amendments for several years at once
    • you currently have a tax debt or previously unresolved tax debt with us
    • you are under an insolvency administration, for example bankruptcy or debt arrangement (check to make sure your insolvency practitioner advises us of your situation before you lodge your return)
    • we need to check information in your return.

    In the meantime, you can track the progress of your return by visiting Tracking the progress of your return.

    Last modified: 02 Jul 2020QC 48005