• Tracking your refund or fixing a mistake

    Once you’ve lodged your tax return, we'll issue a notice of assessment. This tells you whether you're entitled to a refund or if you have a tax debt to pay.

    If you have a myGov account linked to the ATO, your notice of assessment will be sent to your myGov Inbox. You will receive an email or SMS telling you when it’s there.

    When will I get my refund?

    Electronic returns are normally processed in two weeks. Paper returns are processed manually, taking 10 weeks. There is no way to speed up this process, even if you contact us.

    You can continue to check the progress of your tax return by logging into our online services via myGov at any time. This service provides the real-time status and outcome of your return, to indicate which processing stage it is at.

    Stage

    Status and Outcome

    1

    In progress – Processing

    We have received the return and processing has commenced.

    2

    In progress – Information pending

    We are obtaining further information necessary to complete processing of the return. We will contact you if necessary.

    3

    In progress – Under review

    We are reviewing your tax affairs. This may include prior-year assessments. We will contact you, if necessary.

    4

    In progress – Balancing account

    We are balancing the result of our processing of your return with your tax account(s) and determining the amount we need to refund or you need to pay.

    5

    In progress – Processing

    We are generating the notice of assessment and any associated refund where an estimated issue date is shown.

    6

    Issued - $ Amount

    We have issued your notice of assessment. The result of this notice of assessment and the issue date will be shown in our online services.

    If you provided valid Australian financial institution account details in your return, any refund will be paid directly to your account.

    If your return is delayed, it may be for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

    • you have recently lodged returns for previous years, either on their own or with the current year's tax return
    • you currently have a debt with us
    • you are under an Insolvency administration eg bankruptcy or debt arrangement
    • we need to check information with other Australian Government agencies such as the Department of Human Services.

    You can check the progress of your return by logging in to your myGov account or downloading the ATO app.

    How do I amend my tax return or fix a mistake?

    If you think you have made a mistake or forgot to include something on your tax return, you can amend your tax return by accessing our online services using your myGov account.

    You can request an online amendment for 2016 and 2015 tax returns regardless of how they were lodged – myTax, e-tax, a tax agent, or paper.

    If you lodged with myTax, you can amend your tax return or fix mistakes straight away.

    If you lodged with a registered tax agent, they can amend your tax return.
    Online amendments are generally processed within 20 business days, compared to amendments requested by paper which take about 50 business days. You can amend multiple times if needed.

    Next steps:

    Last modified: 25 Nov 2016QC 32085