The Tax Refund Process: 5 Easy Ways to Submit Your Tax Return with ITP

Here at ITP, we’re all about making the tax refund process quick, easy, and painless. After preparing tax returns for more than 50 years, our accountants have worked with many Australian individuals and business owners who find the process stressful and time-consuming. We get genuine job satisfaction out of freeing you from this pressure – and maximising your tax refund while we’re at it!  

The first step in alleviating your tax time stress is offering you multiple ways to lodge your tax return. We have options to suit all tax situations and personality types, ensuring you’re able to handle your taxes in the way that suits you best.

You can choose from any of the following five options:

Book a Face-to-Face Appointment with a Tax Accountant 

Do you prefer handling financial matters in person? Maybe you’re just a fan of good old-fashioned human interaction? ITP has more than 200 branches throughout Australia, and our Tax Accountants are available for face-to-face appointments. Our offices are scattered across the country in major cities and small regional towns, so there’s sure to be a branch near you. You can ring your nearest branch directly to arrange a suitable date and time for your appointment. We also have a handy online booking system that allows you to lock in your desired appointment time with just a few clicks. All you have to do is search for your nearest ITP branch to get started.   

During your appointment, your tax accountant will welcome you to their branch and then ask for your details. To begin the process, they will need your:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Tax File Number (TFN)

Pro Tax Tip: There are only a limited number of professionals you should share your TFN with. The list includes your employer, your bank or other financial institutions, relevant government departments, and your tax agent. Keep your TFN otherwise safe and secure. 

What happens in a face-to-face appointment?

Your ITP Tax Accountant will then lead you through the process and maximise all of your claims. They’ll probably ask a few surprising questions that will help you uncover deductions you had no idea about. Feel free to ask your own questions throughout the process to ensure you understand every step.

At the end of the appointment, your accountant will revise your information, calculate your tax refund, double-check for law compliance and accuracy, and then ask you to sign your information. 

When you’re happy, your accountant will lodge your tax return with the ATO on your behalf. Your tax refund will normally be issued within 12 working days. The ATO will send you a notice, and you will receive your refund via direct deposit into your nominated bank account. 

Ready to set up your in-person appointment? Click here to make your booking.

Lodge Your Tax Return Over The Phone 

If you work remotely or are too far away from a branch, a phone appointment may be a more suitable option for you. Your phone appointment will be conducted in a similar fashion to a face-to-face appointment. However, your Tax Accountant may ask you to email your list of expenses to them.

Your accountant will finish up your tax return in the same manner as a face-to-face appointment. They will then email your summary to you for you to sign. Finally, they will lodge your tax refund when they have received your signed permission. 

Ready to lodge your tax return over the phone? Click here to call an ITP accountant 

Virtual Accounting Via Zoom 

Want the convenience of a phone call with the personal connection of an in-person appointment? Virtual accounting may be the answer for you. Thanks to Zoom’s video conferencing capabilities, you’ll be able to see your tax accountant face-to-face on your computer screen. This is a great way to get your tax return professionally done if you can’t leave the home or office. Your appointment can even be slotted into your lunch break! 

Virtual Accounting Via Email 

Don’t have time for a phone or Zoom call? Your ITP Tax Accountant can complete your tax refund for you over email. We will handle your tax return in the same manner described in the sections above. The only difference is that it may take a little longer if your accountant needs to ask questions and wait for you to email your answer.

Once they have all the information needed, they will have you sign your completed paperwork. Then your accountant will lodge your return with the ATO on your behalf. Your tax refund will go directly into your nominated bank account. 

Express Online Tax Return Service 

If you’re after professional help and can’t get into an office, ITP offers an express online service. Our specialised system will take you through a series of questions, giving you guidance every step of the way. You’ll then be able to securely upload your documents through our fast and easy portal.  

Once you have submitted your information, one of ITP’s certified tax agents will review your tax return. We will ensure it’s accurate while also working hard to maximise your tax refund. Once completed, we will send you a summary of your claims to sign. As soon as you return your signed paperwork via email, our accountants will lodge your tax return to the ATO on your behalf. As with the other methods, you’ll receive your refund directly into your nominated bank account. 

Ready to lodge your tax return online? Click here to start our express tax return.

How Long Will My Appointment Take? 

Most tax returns take 30 – 60 minutes to prepare, depending on the level of detail required. For example, an employee claiming their personal work-related expenses will not take as long as a person who runs their own small business with depreciating assets. Your appointment will take the same amount of time whether you opt for a face-to-face, phone, or Zoom service. However, email and online tax returns differ depending on how long it takes you to provide all the requisite information. If in doubt, a quick call to your local ITP branch will give you an idea of how long your appointment might take. 

Preparation Is Key 

The ATO has three golden rules for a deduction to be valid: 

  1. Your claim must be an eligible work-related expense 
  1. You must have already incurred the expense 
  1. You must have evidence to back up your claim 

Your ITP Tax Accountant may ask to see your receipts, tax invoices, and other supporting documents when making your claims. It’s crucial to keep in mind that they can only claim what you can prove. So it’s best to be on top of your receipts if you want to maximise your tax refund. 

To make this easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of items to prepare before your appointment. Click here for our Tax Checklist to make sure you have all of your supporting documents.

How Long Will My Tax Refund Take? 

Once we’ve lodged your tax return with the ATO, it can take up to 12 working days to receive your tax refund. If there are any issues, it can take up to 50 working days. Using a Tax Accountant normally means smooth sailing with the ATO. However, it’s important to make sure the bank account you have nominated to receive your refund is correct and current.  

Click here to read how long your tax refund should take once it reaches the ATO. 

Tax Return Preparation Fees 

Your fee will depend on the complexity of your tax refund. However, as a general guide, fees start at $150 for an experienced tax professional to safely and securely maximise your tax return. All of our offices provide free quotes, so you can get an idea of what you’ll need to pay before you commit to an appointment. For online assisted tax return preparation, we will contact you with a quote by email, phone, or fax after you fill out the online form. 

Remember, our fees are 100% tax deductible! We also offer free tax advice to our clients all throughout the year, so the fees you pay truly do go a long way.

To make life easy for you, we offer different payment options. The easiest and most cost-effective route is to pay upfront. Otherwise, you can opt to have your fees taken out of your tax refund. Note that this option will incur a $40 fee. Extra charges may apply if you choose to receive your refund by cheque, or if you have unpaid fees like HECS or DOCS. 

If you have any more questions, our FAQs are full of advice from our certified tax professionals. You can also phone your closest branch on 1800 367 487 to chat with one of our friendly Tax Accountants. We’re ready and waiting to help you escape tax time stress and enjoy a healthier refund while you’re at it.