Electronic refunds

The fastest, most secure way for your clients to receive refunds is through electronic funds transfer (EFT) into an Australian financial institution account (FIA). Financial institutions include banks, building societies and credit unions.

When you prepare a tax return for a client and expect a refund, enter their Australian FIA details when you lodge. You can do this through the Electronic Lodgment Service (ELS) or Standard Business Reporting (SBR) enabled practice management software.

You must provide FIA details every time you lodge, even if you have provided the details before.

Use correct FIA details

Incorrect FIA information is the most common reason for refunds going astray or being delayed. We offer these tips to help you get it right:

  • Don't rely on old information – confirm your clients FIA details every year.
  • Having incorrect or out-dated information on your computer, and continuing to use it, may delay refunds to your clients.
  • Your clients may want their refunds to go into different accounts than they did in previous years; or their BSB or account numbers may have changed.
  • Be sure you enter details correctly – incorrect FIA details will delay your client's refund, or the refund could go to the wrong account.

Account details needed for most returns

You will need to include FIA information for most returns for which you expect a refund, including:

  • individual returns
  • company income tax returns
  • trust income tax returns
  • self-managed super fund annual returns
  • fund income tax returns
  • fringe benefits tax returns
  • applications for refunds of franking credits
  • strata title body corporate returns.

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Paper forms

If you have to lodge returns by paper, include Australian FIA details for all returns.

Multiple-year returns: Even if you lodge multiple-year tax returns on or around the same day, they may not be processed in chronological order. This is why you must enter current client information on every return.

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Using your trust account

Depending on arrangements you have with clients, refunds can be deposited directly into their accounts, or into your trust account on their behalf.

The EFT reconciliation statement from ELS can help you reconcile your trust account.

You need to request the statement only once – then, each time a refund is directed into your trust account, a statement is automatically generated through your primary ELS gateway.

Find out more:

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No account available

We understand there may be circumstances when a client may not be able to provide FIA details. If this is the case, and you cannot provide your own trust account details, you can phone us on 13 72 86 Fast Key Code 1 3 1 2 for help.

Clients who have to pay tax

If an assessment results in an amount owing to the Commissioner, we issue a notice of assessment providing details on how to pay, including paying online using BPAY® or credit card. Our existing debt-collection practices continue to apply.

Find out more: How to pay

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Last modified: 23 Oct 2015QC 39709