From today, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) begins processing 2011-2012 tax returns. If you have submitted using e-tax, you should get a refund within 12 business days. That's slower than the ATO promised last year, and there are some caveats.
The main caveat is that processing takes a week to ramp up, so refunds aren't expected to start appearing until July 13 at the earliest. If you submitted as soon as e-tax was released, you might not get much speed advantage.
If your return isn't processed within 12 business days, the ATO aims to process it within 30 calendar days from that point, and will notify you if it takes longer. Last year, the ATO undertook to process 94 per cent of electronic returns within 14 days, but it hasn't made that specific percentage commitment this time and the overall period is longer. (12 business days can run within 16 calendar days).
Common errors often delay returns. Frequent problems cited by the ATO include incorrect bank account details, incorrect birth dates and failure to include address changes.