Last year, IT upgrades meant that many of first people to file their tax returns had to wait weeks for a refund. This year, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) says it is on track to begin issuing refunds from July 14.
According to a statement from the ATO, as of Wednesday evening a total of 164,000 returns had been received, and 129,000 had been finalised. Of those 129,000, 68,000 will begin receiving refunds from July 14, which had previously been announced as the first date for issuing refunds (and still meets the official goal of processing returns within 14 days).
The total value of refunds is $570,000, which works out to an average figure of less than $10 a head. Nonetheless, any fast refund is welcome and is a big contrast to last year, when the ATO was forced to apologise after accumulating a backlog. If you haven't yet submitted your return, check out our Tax Week 2011 coverage for lots of hints and tricks.