ATO Isn’t Quite Reaching Its 94% Return Processing Goal

We’ve been tracking the Australian Taxation Office’s progress in processing tax returns for quite a while now. While it has been interesting to see the size of the average refund fluctuate, we’ve been waiting for evidence of whether the ATO would meet its goal of processing 94% of electronically-submitted returns within 14 days. In its latest update, it confirms that this hasn’t happened, but the results aren’t very far off the mark.

According to the ATO, 92% of electronically submitted returns received in July have been finalised in 14 days. The magic 94% figure occurs after 15 days, and 95% of returns are processed within 16 days. (Previous figures had overall processing hovering around the 75% mark, but as those numbers didn’t distinguish when returns arrived or how they were submitted it was impossible to calculate whether the 94% goal was being met.) That leaves the question open of whether the numbers will rise or fall over August.

For the 2010-11 financial year, a total of 4.1 million returns have been received. 3.1 million have been finalised (which is 77%), and 2.8 million have received a refund — that’s 90% of you. The total refund pool is $6.73 billion, which means the average refund is now at $2331.


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