OK, so your tax return is finished and Etax lodged it with the ATO for you. Now you’re wondering how long it will take until you receive your hard-earned tax refund, right?
Waiting patiently for your tax refund is often frustrating, but chances are it’s on the way. However, it is important to bear in mind that sometimes there are delays at the ATO, especially in July. Did you know, the ATO process the bulk of the nation’s finances during July? That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
So, here’s everything you need to know about the average waiting periods between ATO lodgement to your tax refund arriving in your back account. Plus, a few reasons why it can take a little longer sometimes.
How long does a tax refund usually take to process?
It is usually quite fast. And because most refunds come so fast, it’s not a good idea to visit a “same day refund” agent.
Electronic tax returns are the quickest, normally processed by the ATO within two weeks. Etax expects that most refunds will be out within 10 working days after lodgement of your tax return, but some people will wait a bit longer for the ATO to get it done.
Paper returns are much slower, taking 10 weeks.
When you need your tax refund in a hurry and want to avoid ATO delays, make sure all your details are correct. Prepare your receipts early and only claim eligible tax deductions to avoid ATO complications that will slow down your refund.
How long does it take to get my tax return done at Etax?
You can finish your tax return easily online in just minutes at Etax.com.au. With no appointments or waiting, you can join tens of thousands of Australians by using our number one online tax return service anywhere, any time. And, you’ll have year-round access to qualified Etax accountant advice online using Live Chat, My Messages, or friendly help by phone.
Common reasons for a tax refund delay
While it’s your tax agent’s job to help you check, maximise and lodge your tax return to the ATO in a timely manner, there are some reasons out of our control that may cause a delay in your tax refund.
For example, if you:
- didn’t add all your income sources,
- added unusual deductions for someone in your industry,
- have an insolvency account and owe money,
- owe money to child support or another government agency,
- have an outstanding ATO debt,
- were just unlucky and the ATO decided to audit returns in your industry or with your type of deductions. (For example, last year the ATO was paying close attention to uniform deductions, people with car claims and people with rental property deductions).
Note: Tax returns are only ever held up by the Australian Tax Office, not your tax agent. At Etax we want you to get your tax refund as quick as possible so it’s never in our interest to slow things down. Rather, it’s our job to work with you to overcome any delays caused by the ATO and get your tax refund back and into your bank account.
Tracking your tax refund
Track the status of your Etax return by logging into your Etax account and navigating to the ‘My Tax Return Status’ page.
Your return progresses through the following stages:
1) Initial Review
Your return is checked for missing or incorrect information or attachments. At this stage your accountant will also read and reply to any messages you have sent us and get in touch if they need to clarify anything with you.
2) Final Review
A senior accountant double checks your return for errors or possible missed deductions to ensure the best possible tax refund. With Etax on your side you can be confident your tax return is lodged correctly.
When our reviews are complete, your return is quickly lodged with the ATO. It generally takes 14–30 days for the ATO to process returns and issue refunds.
- Please note: The ATO does not accept enquiries about your return until 30 days after lodgement
Your tax return status changes to ‘Refund’ when your refund has been transferred. We transfer your tax refund to your nominated bank account the same day we receive it from the ATO. Please allow up to three days for the funds to clear in your account.
What can I do if my tax refund is delayed?
First, wait 30 days from your tax return lodgement date. The ATO won’t take enquiries about delayed refunds until a minimum of one month has passed.
After that, get in touch with us. We can contact the ATO on your behalf to chase up your tax return and act on your behalf if the ATO needs any additional information before finalising your return.