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My return contains an error, what should I do?

Where you have already lodged your tax return and subsequently;

  • Receive a second/amended PAYG Payment Summary,
  • Realised you have forgotten to declare some income,
  • Found some extra receipts for deductions, or
  • Discover an error in the original return.

You will need to contact your accountant to arrange for an amendment to be made to your original return as soon as possible.

You generally only have a limited period of two years to amend your tax return so time is of the essence in these situations.

ATO penalties for failure to declare income can range from 25% to 125% of the amount of additional tax payable.

In instances where you discover that you have omitted income from your return, making a voluntary amendment before the ATO reviews your return and does it for you can save you a lot of money, so don’t delay!

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What do I do if my refund is different to the estimate provided by Austax?

Please wait until you receive your notice of assessment and statement of account, as these documents should explain why this is the case.

In the vast majority of cases your notice of assessment will match our tax estimate precisely with any differences usually being attributable to one or more of the following common causes;

  • outstanding tax liabilities owed to the ATO,
  • money owed to other government departments such as Centrelink or Child Support,
  • monies being directed to a trustee in bankruptcy,
  • fines and/or general interest charge being applied by the ATO, or
  • variances in the amount of your HELP/SFSS or TSL loan repayment.

The amount of any adjustment is shown on your statement of account. If any of your refund was paid to another government department, the name of that department is also shown on the statement of account.

If your notice of assessment differs from our estimate or you are unsure please contact our office and speak with your accountant.

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It’s been 30 days and I still haven’t seen anything, where is my refund?

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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I have received a notice of assessment but there is no money in my bank account. What do I do?

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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I lodged multiple returns for the past X years with Austax on the same day. Why have I only received one of the refunds?

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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My spouse/sibling/friend lodged their return with Austax on same day I did. They have their refund already, where is mine?

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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How does paying your fees from my refund work?

Clients opting to have our fees deducted from their tax refund are required to have their notice of assessment sent to our office and their tax refund deposited directly into the Austax trust account.

Upon receipt of your tax refund into our trust account as cleared funds, and receipt from the ATO of their EFT Reconciliation Statement, we deduct our fees from your refund and forward the balance to your nominated bank account.

Your notice of assessment (where a paper document is generated by the ATO) along with your trust account receipt/tax invoice is then forwarded to you in the mail.

Due to the additional processing required, it usually takes a day or two longer for clients paying our fees from their refund to receive their refund when compared to clients who pay our fees upfront.

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Why do you charge $25 to deduct your fees from my refund?

Our $25 service fee is levied to cover the additional costs we incur to provide this payment option to our clients.

The pronouncements of our professional body require that any amounts received by our firm upon trust are held by us in a trust account.

When transacting upon this trust account we are required comply with the relevant documentation standards, both for the purposes of meeting our professional standards requirements, and, the requirements of the AntiMoney Laundering and Counter‑Terrorism Financing Act 2006.

This account is also required to be independently audited each year to ensure that Austax, as the operator of the trust account, are complying with our professional and legal obligations.

These compliance requirements come at substantial cost which we partially recover by charging this fee to our clients who choose to pay using this method.

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What payment methods does Austax accept?

We accept payment by cash, cheque, direct debit, EFTPOS, Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

If you are receiving a tax refund we can also arrange to deduct our fees from your refund for a small additional fee of $25.

Credit card payments can be made via our website. Austax does not apply a surcharge to payments made by credit card.

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