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How Long Does Tax Return Take in Australia 2023

Tax agents and experts in Australia frequently face this question from their clients: “When do I get my tax return?” It indeed becomes frustrating for a taxpayer to wait for their tax refund. But one thing you must keep in mind is that even if there is a delay, you will never be denied your claims, provided you have lodged the tax return correctly.

Sometimes delays occur at the Australian Taxation Office or ATO, mainly in July. The reason behind it is that the ATO processes a significant portion of the country’s finances in July. Read this blog to know about how long you have to wait from the moment you lodge the tax to the moment of receiving the refunded amount into your Australian bank account.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Your Tax Return?

The best thing about the ATO is that the refund is made pretty fast.

Note that if you lodge the tax return digitally, the ATO will process it in two weeks. Hiring a top-rated tax service provider will make the whole process even better, and you may get the refund within 10 working days after lodging the tax return. However, if you decide to lodge a paper return, the process may take as long as 10 weeks.

Sometimes you may search on the internet by typing “how long does it take to get your tax return?” and come across anyone who claims to help you get a same-day refund. You must be aware of this type of agent.

If you are in a hurry to receive your tax refund and do not want any delay, it will be necessary to fill in all the details correctly. You must prepare the receipts early and claim only eligible tax deductions.

Common Reasons for Tax Return Delay

You may ask a qualified and experienced tax agent near you and ask, “why is my tax refund delayed?” They will explain all the common reasons, which are as follows.

  • Not Adding Every Income Source

When you own a business in Australia, you must include all the income sources in your tax return.

  • Lodging The Tax Return A Second Time

Sometimes, an individual lodges a tax return immediately after lodging the first one.

  • Changes Made Before The Processing Is Finished

If you make any amendments before the ATO finishes processing the original tax return documents or any previous modifications, the whole process will get delayed.

  • The ATO Cross-Checking Information

The Australian Taxation Office may contact your financial institutions, employer, or private health insurance providers to cross-check all information to make sure it is correct.

  • The ATO Checking With Other Government Agencies

The ATO may also check information with Services Australia, Child Support, etc.

  • Having A Tax Debt

An unresolved tax debt with the ATO is one of the most common reasons for tax refund delay.

  • Having An Insolvency Account

When you are under any insolvency administration for debt arrangement or bankruptcy, you will need to wait longer for the refund.

  • Lodging Several Years’ Tax Returns

If you have lodged tax returns for multiple years, the process will be delayed.

  • Including Incorrect Australian Financial Institution Details

Make sure you do not enter incorrect financial institution information.

  • Having A Non-Pursued Debt

When a previous debt is put on hold, it is called a non-pursued debt.

How to Track Your Tax Return?

If you ask any tax agent: “how to check my tax return status?” they will recommend you use the ATO’s self-help services.

During the tax return process, the ATO will send you a notice of assessment, showing:

  • The amount of tax you owe on your assessable income
  • The credit you will receive for the tax you have paid already
  • Payable tax amount or the amount of refund

There are four ways to check the status, including:

Online Using The Mygov Portal

Steps will include:

  • Signing in to your myGov account,
  • Choosing ‘ATO’ from your ‘member services’,
  • Selecting ‘Manage tax returns’,
  • Selecting the appropriate income year

Using The ATO App

You will need to complete only two steps.

  • Log in to the app.
  • Select the income year.

Through Phone

You can use the self-help services of the ATO.

  • Call on 132865
  • Choose Option 1, and again Option 1

Make sure you have the TFN ready.

With The Registered Tax Agent

You can ask your registered tax agent to check the progress on your behalf.

If you use the online services of the ATO to check the progress of the tax return, you will come across the following statuses:

  1. In Progress – Processing: This status will appear at two processing stages.
    1. The ATO has started processing the return.
    2. The ATO has decided on your tax return and will issue a notice of assessment shortly.
  2. In Progress – Information Pending: It means the ATO has started gathering information to finish the process. The authority will contact you if they need further information.
  3. In Progress – Under Review: It indicates that the ATO reviews the tax return before finalising something. At this stage, they may also review tax returns of previous years.
  4. In Progress – Balancing Account: At this stage, the ATO calculates the amount you will receive as a refund.
  5. Issued – $ Amount: When this status appears, you can see the notice of assessment, if you will receive the refund, and the date you will receive the payment.

What Can You Do if Your Tax Return Is Delayed?

Your tax return may be delayed because of any of the reasons discussed above. However, when it happens, you must first wait for at least 30 days from the date you have lodged your tax return. The reason is that the Australian Taxation Office does not inquire about delayed returns until 30 days have passed since you have made the lodgement.

Once the 30-day period passes, you can contact a top service provider to check what has happened. They will take responsibility for the whole matter and contact the ATO on behalf of their client. They will check whether the ATO requires further information to process your tax return.

The best thing to avoid delays is consulting an experienced tax accountant for valuable tips.

When Do You Need to Lodge a Tax Return to Avoid Delay in Refunds?

In Australia, the tax season for individuals runs from 1 July to 31 October. On the other hand, business organisations have to submit quarterly and monthly BAS throughout the year, depending on their size.

The Important Dates In 2023 Are As Follows.

15 May 2023

15 May is the deadline if you are not a business entity and have hired a registered tax agent to help you lodge the annual tax return for the financial year 2023.

Because the lodgement is the agent’s responsibility, the best thing is that you will not need to worry about it.

30 June 2023

The 2023 financial year will officially end on this date.

1 July 2023

The ATO will start processing the tax returns of the 2022-23 tax season.

14 July 2023

Your employer will send you the annual PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) payment summary on this date. Note that the tax office will be issued a similar summary one month from this date. So, your employer will have to send employee information to the ATO within 14 August.

July 2023

All rebates from the previous economic year will be issued throughout the month. The date may differ, but you will receive your refund in July.

31 October 2023

This is the deadline for lodging the annual tax return for 2022-23. While you will get an extended deadline if you hire a tax agent, it is important to discuss things with them before 2 October to avoid any chance of penalties.

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