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  • After you lodge

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    Progress of your tax return

    We usually process tax returns lodged online within two weeks. There is no need to phone us to check the progress of your tax return. If we need more information about your tax return while we are processing it, we will contact you.

    You can check your progress of return in four ways:

    • access ATO online services through your myGov account
    • use the ATO app to see the status of your current return
    • through your registered tax agent
    • use our self-help phone service.

    These options are available to you whether you have lodged your tax return through a registered tax agent, ATO online services through your myGov account or on paper.

    Fix a mistake and amend your tax return

    If you think you have made a mistake or forgot to include something on your tax return, you can correct (amend) your tax return. Regardless of how your tax return was lodged, you can amend it by accessing ATO online services through your myGov account.

    Most individuals can amend their tax returns for up to two years after lodgment.

    If you lodged your tax return:

    • With ATO online services through myGov, you can generally amend it straight away. Although, it's best to wait until your original lodgment is processed before requesting an amendment. This will help minimise processing delays.
    • With a registered tax agent, contact your agent for advice on amending your tax return. You can lodge the amendment yourself through ATO online services through myGov.

    If your refund is more than you expect

    The low and middle income tax offset is available for the 2020–21 income year. If your taxable income is between $37,001 and $126,000, you will get some or all of the low and middle income tax offset.

    There is nothing you need to do differently to claim the offset, just lodge your return as usual and we’ll work out what you’re entitled to.

    The amount of the offset you receive depends on your individual circumstances, such as your taxable income and how much tax you have paid. The low and middle income tax offset amount is between $255 and $1,800 per annum.

    An offset is not a refund and can only reduce the amount of tax you need to pay. The offset may result in a refund of tax that has already been withheld throughout the income year.

    We will show any offset amount on your notice of assessment.

    If your refund is less than you expect

    You may find your tax assessment is different from what you expected to receive. Common reasons why you may receive a tax bill include the following:

    • You received the low income tax offset (LITO) which increased from $455 to $700 per year for the 2020-21 income year and future years.
    • You received the low and middle income tax offset (LMITO) which continues to be available for the 2020-21 income year. The low and middle income tax offset amount is between $255 and $1,080, and will be used to offset (or reduce) the tax you need to pay on your taxable income.
    • Changes to the personal income tax brackets which increased the top threshold of the 19% bracket from $37,000 to $45,000, and the top threshold of the 32.5% bracket from $90,000 to $120,000.
    • The refund amount has been offset against another debt, either another tax debt (previous income tax bill, or activity statement debt), or another government agency debt (Centrelink or Child Support Agency).
    • Compulsory payments, such as Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), Trade Support Loan (TSL), VET Student Loan (VSL) or Student Financial Supplement Scheme (SFSS) repayments.
    • You need to pay Medicare levy surcharge because you stopped paying private patient hospital cover and your income is above a certain threshold.
    • New or amended income tests.
    • Excess concessional contributions to a super fund.
    • We reviewed your tax return as part of our compliance checking and adjustments have been made.
    • Your employer incorrectly reporting reportable employer superannuation contributions on your income statement.
    • Tax was not withheld from a taxable payment (such as JobSeeker payments) and your total income for the year was more than the tax-free threshold.
    • You incorrectly claimed the tax-free threshold.

    If you believe you have made a mistake you can either amend you tax return online or contact your registered tax agent.

    If you owe tax

    We understand missing a payment due date can be stressful. If you can’t pay your tax bill in full, we have payment options available such as payment plans. To work out if there is a plan that you can afford you can use the payment plan estimator. You may receive a tax bill if you:

    • are an employee and your employer hasn't withheld enough tax from the payments they made to you
    • are a sole trader and haven't paid enough tax to us throughout the year
    • receive other income where no tax was withheld.

    You can check your outstanding balance and when your payment is due by clicking through to ATO online services from your myGov account.

    In our ATO online services you can:

    • set up, adjust or cancel payment plans when circumstances change
    • update your debit and credit cards for one-off payments
    • view most of your payment plan history.

    You may be able to arrange a payment plan by phoning our automated phone service 13 72 26 which is available 24 hours a day.

    If you aren’t able to enter into a payment plan online or through our automated phone service, phone us on 13 11 42, and we’ll work with you to find the right solution.

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      Last modified: 15 Oct 2021QC 62802