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How long does it take to get a tax return?

How long does a tax return take in Australia?

If you lodge your taxes online, the tax return time frame could be 2 weeks or less. However, if you file by paper, you may have to wait 10 weeks for your return.

How to track the status of a tax return

ATO online services

If you’ve created a myGov account and linked it to the ATO, you can track the status of your return. Just log into myGov, select ATO, then select “Manage tax returns” and choose the tax year you want to check.

ATO app

You can log into the ATO app and select “Your tax return for 2021-22” to see the status of your most recent tax return. 

By phone

To check the status of your return by phone, call 13 28 65, then choose option 1 twice. You’ll need to provide your Tax File Number to hear the status of your return.

Through a registered tax agent

If a registered agent lodged your taxes, they can check the status of your return for you.

Why your tax return might be delayed

How long do tax returns take to process? In some instances, longer than you might expect. Here are some common reasons for delays: 

Overdue tax returns

If you missed the lodgement deadline, or you just filed a return for a previous year, expect that your return will go to the back of the queue for processing. The ATO prioritises timely, current-year tax returns.  

Amended tax returns

Should you amend your return, the ATO will need to compare the return you previously filed with your amended return, which can lengthen processing time. The ATO may also need to contact you for clarification on your amendments. 

Existing tax debts

The ATO will incorporate any unresolved tax debt as they process your latest return. 

You submitted outdated or incorrect information

Mistakes happen — and they can delay your return. Review your tax return carefully before lodging. 

What to do if your tax refund is delayed

Still waiting on that refund? Be patient. The ATO won’t respond to any enquiries until 30 days from the date you lodged your return. 

The notice of assessment

The ATO will issue a notice of assessment once it has processed your tax return. This notice explains whether you’ll get a refund or if you owe taxes.  

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