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  • Tracking your refund or fixing a mistake

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    Tracking your refund

    Most income tax returns lodged online take two weeks to process, however some lodgments require manual processing and may take up to a month to issue. You can't speed up this process, even if you phone us.

    You can track the status and outcome of your tax return by:

    Online services via myGov

    You can track the real-time status and outcome of your tax return using our online services

    Log in or create a myGov account

    The following stages may be shown when you check the progress of a return. Not all returns will undergo all the steps outlined:

    1. In progress – Processing
      We have received the return and processing has started.
    2. In progress – Information pending
      We are obtaining further information necessary to complete processing of the return. We will contact you if necessary.
    3. In progress – Under review
      We are reviewing your tax affairs. This may include prior-year assessments. We will contact you, if necessary.
    4. Cancelled
      We are reviewing your tax return. This may include ensuring you have included all the information that has been reported to us. You should not attempt to lodge your return again.
    5. In progress – Balancing account
      We are balancing the result of processing your return with your tax accounts and calculating the amount we need to refund or you need to pay.
    6. In progress – Processing
      We are generating the notice of assessment and any associated refund where an estimated issue date is shown.
    7. Issued – $ Amount
      We have issued your notice of assessment. The result of this notice of assessment and the issue date will be shown in our online services.

    If you provided valid Australian financial institution account details (for example, your bank account details) in your return, we will pay any refund directly into your account.

    See what other people are asking about tracking their returns on our ATO CommunityExternal Link.

    Progress of return enquiry tool

    If you don't have a myGov account, you can check the status of your tax return onlineThis link opens in a new window. All you need is your tax file number.

    Self-help services

    You can check the status of your tax return by phoning us on 13 28 65. This is an automated service, where you select options using a phone key pad.

    Before you phone, make sure you have:

    • your TFN
    • relevant details, such as your lodgment date and method if you want to check your lodgment progress.

    Getting your refund

    Electronic returns are normally processed in two weeks. Paper returns are processed manually, taking 10 weeks.

    Once we've processed your tax return, we'll issue a notice of assessment telling you if 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 from myGov telling you when to check your myGov Inbox.

    If you think your circumstances put you under serious financial hardship consider requesting priority processing.

    Delayed tax return

    Sometimes, returns take longer to process than the timeframes listed above. Returns can be delayed for a number of reasons. Some of the most common reasons are:

    • you have recently lodged tax returns for previous years
    • you currently have a debt with us
    • you are under an Insolvency administration, for example bankruptcy or debt arrangement
    • the Australian financial institution account details associated with your return changed during processing
    • we need to check information with other Australian Government agencies such as the Department of Human Services including Centrelink, Child Support or Family Assistance Office
    • we need to verify the information you have provided, including spouse details and private health insurance information or cross check the information with data from our own systems.

    If your return is delayed you do not need to phone us. We will contact you if we need more information.

    Amending tax returns or fixing a mistake

    Once you’ve lodged your tax return, we will 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 think you have made a mistake or you forgot to include something, the quickest and easiest way to amend your tax return is using our online servicesExternal Link via myGov. From our online services homepage, select the 'Manage tax returns' button.

    If you need to lodge an amendment, wait until your original return or any previously lodged amendments have been processed and you have received your most up-to-date notice of assessment. This will help minimise processing delays.

    Online amendments are generally processed within four weeks and up to 10 weeks for amendments made in writing.

    If you lodged with a registered tax agent, either you or your agent can amend your tax return.

    See also:

    Watch:

    This video shows the best time to lodge with myTax

    Media: [The best time to lodge with myTax]
    http://tv.ato.gov.au/ato-tv/media?v=bd1bdiubos3wn7External Link (Duration: 00:30)

    Last modified: 12 Jul 2019QC 32085