Tax Refunds: 49,000 People Have Potentially Over-Claimed

The latest update on tax return processing from the Australian Taxation Office suggests more of the same: the average refund is $2317 and almost two-thirds of people are getting a refund. Nonetheless, it seems some people are trying too hard.

Since July 1, the ATO has received 3.506 million 2010-11 returns, and has finalised 2.474 million of them (around 70.5% of those submitted). 2.261 million have received refunds totalling $5.24 billion, which gives us a 64 per cent refund figure and an average refund of $2317 (very slightly up on when we last calculated the figure).

Two-thirds of people getting refunds seems remarkable, but that doesn’t mean they’re flowing through automatically. The latest ATO update also includes a cautionary note:

We have stopped over 49,000 returns with total refunds claimed of around $190 million that are believed to be potentially fraudulent or include overstated claims.


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