Frequently Asked Questions

Choose one of our Frequently Asked Question categories below;

Where's My Refund?

This is nothing to worry about. It is normal for returns lodged in the same batch, on the same day to be processed at different times. This is due to the way the ATO processes returns.

Each return is grouped for processing based on common items contained in the returns or characteristics of the return. For example, returns containing a high level of work related expenses or that generate a very large refund generally take longer to process as they are subject to a higher level of checking by the ATO.

Having dealings with other government departments also delays returns. For example, being the recipient of Family Tax Benefits usually adds about 5 days to the processing time of a tax return, as the ATO needs to communicate with the Family Assistance Office before they can finalise the return.

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This is nothing to worry about. It is normal for clients who lodge multiple prior year returns at the same time to have them processed at different times.

This is due to the way the ATO processes returns. The ATO may process your returns as one batch, multiple batches or separately. Processing usually occurs in chronological order however this is not always the case.

Furthermore the typical ATO processing times do not apply to prior year returns as some information provided in your tax return is carried forward into future returns. This means you may experience significant additional processing times depending on how many overdue returns were lodged.

Failure to lodge your income tax returns on-time is a crime and punishable by fine or imprisonment. We offer clients who have lodged multiple overdue returns and are unhappy with the length of time the ATO is taking to process their returns the following advice, don’t poke the angry bear.

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For clients that paid our fees upfront:
The bank account your refund is being directed to is shown at the very bottom of the front page of your tax return.

Ensure that your bank account details are correct and that you are checking the correct bank account. Your refund is usually prefixed by “ATO” followed by the sequence number shown on your notice of assessment.

If the bank details supplied on your return are incorrect, then the ATO will forward you a cheque which usually takes about two weeks.

For clients that paid our fees from their tax refund:
The bank account details your refund was deposited to are printed on the trust account receipt that accompanies your notice of assessment.

Ensure that your bank details are correct and that you are checking the correct bank account. Your refund is usually prefixed by “Austax” followed by the receipt number shown on your trust account receipt.

If the bank details supplied on your return are incorrect, then Austax has probably been trying to contact you! Please call our office as soon as possible to advise us of the correct bank account details.

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Generally speaking returns that experience delays in processing by the tax office may be incomplete, incorrect or have been subject to further checks by the ATO. This may occur for a number of reasons, for example;

  • Income reported to the ATO being omitted from a return,
  • Name changes that have not been notified to the ATO, eg, in the case of marriage,
  • Incorrect date of birth details on file at the ATO,
  • Enquiries regarding Child Support Obligations,
  • Enquiries regarding Family Tax Benefit entitlements,
  • Delays in the supply of information from third parties to the ATO, eg, PAYG Payment Summaries from employers,
  • ATO audit or investigation,
  • Insolvency/Bankruptcy.

As the delay may be due to any of a number of reasons, please contact our office and speak with our staff so that they may investigate your situation further.

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Can’t find the answer you are looking for? Please contact us at taxreturns@austaxaccountants.com.au