When will you get your refund?

Hour GlassWhen you lodge your return you will need to provide Australian bank account details (including BSB and account number) so you can receive your refund electronically. Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is the fastest and most secure way to receive your refund because it ensures your refund is paid directly into your nominated bank, credit union or building society account.

After you lodge your tax return, the ATO will process it and issue you with a notice of assessment. If you’re owed a refund it will be issued at the same time.

The ATO usually process tax returns that have been lodged electronically within 12 business days of receiving them. Paper tax returns for individuals are usually processed within 50 business days of being received.

Your refund may take longer to process if:

  • You lodge multiple year returns or returns for previous years at the same time as your current year return
  • You make a mistake on your tax return, for example
    • Not including your date of birth
    • Including incorrect bank account details
    • Not including any name change from a previous year’s return
    • Not including interest from a bank account or income from a previous job
  • Your return needs further checking, for example if:
    • The ATO require more information or need to check data with the Department of Human Services
    • The ATO identify potential errors, such as overstated claims
    • You have existing insolvency-related obligations
  • You lodged your return before the end of the income tax year. The ATO accept early lodgment of tax returns for individuals before the end of the income tax year only in certain circumstances.

If you lodge your return electronically and the ATO are unable to finalise it within 30 calendar days, you will be informed you of this.

If you lodged through a tax agent, contact them for information about your lodgment date and processing times.

If you sent your tax return by ordinary post, wait seven weeks before phoning to check how it’s going.

If you lodged online, check your lodgment was successful before you contact the ATO to see how it’s going. If lodgment was successful, wait 30 days before phoning the ATO.

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