Where is my refund?

One of the most common questions faced by our accountants last tax season was “Where is my refund?” We thought it would be helpful to explain and give a simple explanation on our refund process, as well as provide the estimated timings.

The first step is when you lodge your tax return on our system. Upon lodgement, it will be sent to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for review. The average processing time the ATO takes to process a refund is 14 business days.

Next, when they have finished processing the Tax Return, they will issue a Notice of Assessment to you, to inform you if there are any changes to the refund amount, and provide the exact figure of your Tax Refund/Payable.

If you are under our Fee from Refund option, the refund will then be sent to our Trust Account. We will then direct deposit your refund back to you within 24 business hours, after deducting our service fees. This direct deposit could take anywhere between a couple hours up to 2 business days, depending on which bank you use.

Some Tax Returns might take a bit longer than the usual 14 business days for the ATO to process, here are a couple reasons why this might be the case.

  • If you lodge an Overdue Tax Return. The ATO tends to prioritise current year Tax Returns before processing any overdue ones from prior years, which may lead to a slower processing time.
  • If you lodge an Amended Tax Return. The ATO would take more time to process this, as they would have to bring up the original lodgement and compare the differences between the two, before confirming if the changes made are legitimate.
  • If you lodge a Paper Tax Return. As this is lodged via post, it would take a longer time to reach the ATO than if it is lodged electronically. The ATO would also take a longer time to manually process the Tax Return.

In general, most of our clients receive their refunds faster than 14 business days. There might be delays in ATO processing or bank transfer delays, but we do our best to send your refund out within 24 business hours of it entering our Trust Account.

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