ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Requesting priority processing

How to apply for priority processing of your tax return.

Last updated 9 June 2021

If you're an individual or business experiencing financial difficulties or serious hardship you may be eligible for priority processing of your tax return.

Before you apply

Make sure you have lodged your return before requesting priority processing. The quickest and easiest way to lodge is by using our online services.

Check the progress of your return as you may not need to lodge a request for priority processing if your return is in its final stages of processing. Your return may be already finalised before we have had an opportunity to consider your request.

To be eligible for priority processing, your evidence must:

  • support your current financial circumstance
  • be dated within four weeks of your submission.

If you cannot provide this evidence, your claim may be delayed or denied. It is an offence to provide false or misleading information and penalties can apply.

For a list of eligible documents refer to:

See also:

How to apply

You can apply for priority processing by phone or through a tax professional.

Applying by phone

Once you have lodged your return, phone us on 13 28 61 to discuss whether priority processing is suitable. Ensure you have your eligible documentation when calling us.

Applying through a tax professional

A registered tax professional can submit a request for priority processing on your behalf.

When your agent is requesting priority processing, they will be required to provide evidence to support your application. Ensure you supply eligible documentation as evidence to your agent.

What happens next

We will notify you once we receive your initial request and contact you if we require more information.

We may need more time to process your return if:

  • you are a customer of another Australian government agency, including Services Australia (Centrelink or Child Support)
  • you have lodged income tax returns or amendments for several years at once
  • you currently have a tax debt or previously unresolved tax debt with us
  • you are under an insolvency administration, for example bankruptcy or debt arrangement (check to make sure your insolvency practitioner advises us of your situation before you lodge your return)
  • we need to check information in your return.

Applying for priority processing doesn't guarantee a refund. It could result in the credit being used to pay an outstanding debt with us or other Australian government agencies.

If you have an outstanding debt with another Australian government agency, such as Services Australia (Centrelink or Child Support), you should also contact them to discuss your circumstances.

More information

If you're finding it difficult to lodge or pay your tax or have already missed a due date, we can help. To see what other support is available, visit:

For support tailored to your needs, speak with your registered tax practitioner or call us on 13 11 42 during operating hours.