Tracking your refund or fixing a mistake

Once you’ve lodged your tax return, we'll issue you a notice of assessment. This tells you whether 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 telling you when it’s there.

When will I get my refund?

Electronic returns are normally processed in 2 weeks. Paper returns have to be processed manually which normally takes 10 weeks. There is no way to speed up this process, even if you call us. You can continue to check the progress of your tax return by logging in to our online services via myGov at any time.

If you provided valid Australian bank account details in your return, your 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 Centrelink or Child Support.

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: 14 Oct 2016QC 32085