• Tracking your refund or fixing a mistake

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    The quickest and easiest way to check the progress of your most recent tax return is by using the ATO app or onlineThis link opens in a new window. All you need is your tax file number.

    If you have a myGov account, you can also check your prior year tax returns or multiple returns by logging in to your online services accountExternal Link.

    These services are available 24 hours a day.

    Log in or create a myGov account

    Getting your refund

    Electronic returns are normally processed in two weeks. Paper returns are processed manually, taking 10 weeks. If you think your circumstances put you under serious financial hardship consider requesting priority processing.

    Once we've processed your tax return, we'll issue a notice of assessment telling you if you're entitled to a refund or that 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 from myGov telling you when to check your myGov Inbox.

    Tracking your refund

    You can track the real-time status and outcome of your tax return by logging into our online services via myGov. The following stages may be shown when you check the progress of a return:

    Stage

    Status and Outcome

    1

    In progress – Processing

    We have received the return and processing has started.

    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 processing your return with your tax accounts and calculating 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 (e.g. your bank account details) in your return, we will pay any refund directly into your account.

    Delayed tax return

    Sometimes, returns take longer to process than the timeframes listed above. Returns can be delayed for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

    • you have recently lodged tax returns for previous years
    • you currently have a debt with us
    • you are under an Insolvency administration, e.g. bankruptcy or debt arrangement
    • we need to check information with other Australian Government agencies such as the Department of Human Services including Centrelink, Child Support or Family Assistance Office
    • we need to verify the information you have provided, including spouse details and private health insurance information or cross check the information with data from our own systems.

    If we need any further information from you to finalise it, we will contact you.

    If your return is delayed you do not need to phone us. We will contact you if we need more information.

    Amending tax returns or fixing a mistake

    If you think you have made a mistake or you forgot to include something – the quickest and easiest way to amend your tax return is using our online servicesExternal Link via myGov.

    You can request an amendment online for 2016 and 2015 tax returns regardless of how you originally lodged.

    Online amendments are generally processed in four weeks, compared to paper amendments which take 10 weeks. You can amend multiple times if needed.

    If you lodged with a registered tax agent, they can amend your tax return.

    See also:

     
    Last modified: 02 Aug 2017QC 32085