The ATO Explains Tax Return Delays

The switch to a new processing system has caused delays in sending tax refunds to some Australians. Here's what's happened and what you need to know.

Picture by [email protected]

As part of a long-scheduled upgrade, the ATO switched to a new tax-processing system in early February. That led to some delays as the system was slowly brought back online, and those delays were further exacerbated when a processing error meant that many assessment notices were being printed incorrectly, a problem which wasn't solved until late May. As a result, the ATO now has a backlog of 100,000 returns that are more than 30 days old.

That's bad news if you were expecting a refund. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you can call the ATO on 13 28 61 and ask to have your return expedited. Returns not paid within 30 days also attract interest payments. For full details, hit the ATO link below.

Processing status of stockpiled tax returns [ATO]


    Lesson Learned.... Do your TAX EARLY!

      This doesn't apply to businesses who need to complete BAS statements quarterly.

    "a problem which wasn’t solved until late May"? So we won't know it's has been solved for another five weeks?

      Must be May last year as they would have already processed most of the returns prior to the Feb. roll out of their new system, making the problems occur for new returns lodged in July 09 and so on.

      After reading the article, I believe that should be March:

      "It took us longer than expected to fix the problem and we recommenced sending notices of assessments to be printed and posted on Monday 22 March."

    The information which advises 'a problem which was not solved until late May' is incorrect, the issue was solved in late March, well not so much solved but identified.

    It looks like most websites are being given or are reporting incorrect information, the ATO have still not processed tax returns that were submitted early January!!! They keep saying that they have fixed problems and refunds have been processing however this is not the case. I have a large tax return outstanding from early Feb, my husband has lost his job so we were able to request the return be expedited, we were told at this time we can expect the return in 3 weeks, this is the same information we were told by the ATO 2 weeks ago so doubt they are going to get this together any time soon.

    The post is way out with regards to the months for the implementation of the ATO's new system.

    Reason I know this is in March there entire phone system was "broken" and reported delays due to new system they are implementing.

    Months are Feb-March of down time.

      Its May the 17th, I still haven't received my refund submitted 14th Jan. I was told 14 days by my tax agent n was relying on that money to upgrade my security licence. When it didn't arrive I was unemployed, been so since then. I've had to slowly upgrade, each 2 weeks, paying for upgrade from my benefits. I was told in March that I was priority due to financial hardship, then 2 more times since then. Still nothing. Doubt it is fixed.

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