Waiting for your tax return can be frustrating, especially if you’re expecting a good return and can’t wait to spend your money.

Usually, it doesn’t take that long. Most refunds will be issued within 12 working days if you lodged online, and can take up to 50 working days. However, there may be more reasons the ATO has delayed your tax return.

Common reasons for a tax return delay

If your return is delayed it may be for a number of reasons. This can sometimes mean weeks if mistakes trigger a manual review of your tax return. Some common reasons are:

  • you have recently lodged returns for previous years, either on their own or with the current year’s tax return
  • you currently have a debt
  • the ATO need to check information with other Australian Government agencies such as Centrelink or Child Support Program
  • the ATO has more income details than you declared
  • you added unusual or large deductions and the ATO has picked up anomalies,
  • you owe money, either to child support or another government agency
  • you have an outstanding ATO debt,
  • you were unlucky and the ATO has chosen to audit you
  • you have made a spelling mistake on your name
  • your date of birth is different to what was on a previous return
  • your bank account details are incorrect
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What if my Tax Return is delayed?

You’ll need to wait 30 days from the date of lodgement. The ATO will not take enquiries until a minimum of one month has passed. If you still have not received your return, your registered ITP Tax Agent will look into the issue on your behalf. An ITP Tax Agent can help speed up the process if it has been held up, however they can’t demand action from the ATO.

How long does a tax return usually take to process?

ITP The Income Tax Professionals double check your details from incorrect spelling to making sure all documentation is in order. All details are confirmed to ensure that you’re maximising your tax return.

At this stage, your tax accountant may contact you with any questions that may arise. This will ensure that when lodgement takes place, it will go through smoothly.

ITP The Income Tax Professionals help over 300,000 Australians with their tax each year. If you’d like to talk about possible deductions and professional accounting advice, call a Professional today.