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  • $10 billion back in your hands

    $10 billion dollars has been refunded to Australian taxpayers so far this tax time, an increase of over $2 billion from this time last year, with most returns being processed in under two weeks.

    Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Assistant Commissioner Karen Foat highlighted that the ATO seeks to process returns as soon as possible, announcing that over 4 million refunds have already been sent out, compared to over 3 million refunds issued this time last year.

    “Of course, the ATO works around the clock to quickly get refunds in peoples’ hands. However, there are some things that taxpayers should take care with to ensure their return is not unnecessarily delayed.

    “Firstly, it’s important to check your bank account details are correct, and if you’ve changed accounts recently, take a moment to update your details.

    “When refunds get sent to incorrect bank accounts, redirecting them to your new account will take more time. This tax time, we’ve seen some people who are really keen to get their refund, having missed this important step.”

    “Another big obstacle getting between some people and their return is forgetting to declare some income. Common things people forget to include are rental income, bank interest and government allowances or payments – particularly if they lodged before our pre-fill was available.

    “If our data shows us that you’ve likely left out income, that can slow down the processing of your return while we make additional checks.

    “Our data analytics also flags instances of people making claims out of the norm for their occupation and income level.

    “While we want people to claim what they are entitled to, where claims seem unusual we may do some additional checks, which could mean longer until you get your refund. So make sure you only claim what you are entitled to and keep your receipts so that you’ll have them on hand quickly if we do need to see them”, Ms Foat said.

    Remember if you have lodged your return online, it can take the ATO up to two weeks to process. You can check the status of your return by logging into your myGov account, using the ATO app or searching online via our website. There is no way to speed up this process, even if you call us.

    To find out more about how to check the progress of your return, visit: Progress of return

    To find out more about what income you must declare, visit: Income you must declare

    To find out more about what deductions you can claim this tax time, visit: Other deductions

    Last modified: 15 Aug 2019QC 59910