The ATO’s latest update on tax return processing confirms that it’s continuing to meet its target of processing 94 per cent of electronically-submitted returns within 14 days. As of September 21, it had received 6.49 million 2010-2011 returns, finalised 5.886 million, and issued 5.149 million returns with a total value of $12.29 billion dollars. That works out to an average return of $2387.
That average return size suggests we’re unlikely to ever see massive simplification of the tax system even for standard salary earners, since we’re all addicted to the idea of getting a refund. Several commenters on earlier tax posts have noted that they don’t mind overpaying tax since it forces them to save. That might be effective in terms of stopping you withdrawing money, but there might be better ways of spending our collective money than running the Tax Office as an enforced savings bank.