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Aussies have already received $10 billion in tax refunds

Have you gotten your tax return yet? Images: Getty

The Australian Tax Office has been inundated with early tax returns this year, having already refunded a whopping $10 billion to taxpayers.

That is a huge increase on the $2 billion refunded to taxpayers by the same time last year.

According to assistant commissioner Karen Foat, the huge number highlights the ATO’s dedication to speedy refunds.

However, the volume of returns could also have something to do with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s tax offset scheme, which saw around 10 million Australians have their taxable income offset by up to $1,080.

More than a million Australians lodged their tax return within 11 days of the new financial year.

But, according to Foat, not everyone will receive speedy returns, explaining that mistakes can delay returns.

What do I need to do to make sure my ATO tax return isn’t delayed?

“Firstly, it’s important to check your bank account details are correct, and if you’ve changed accounts recently, take a moment to update your details,” Foat said.

“When refunds get sent to incorrect bank accounts, redirecting them to your new account will take more time. This tax time, we’ve seen some people who are really keen to get their refund, having missed this important step.”

It’s also important to declare all income including rental income, bank interest and government allowances.

“If our data shows us that you’ve likely left out income, that can slow down the processing of your return while we make additional checks.

“Our data analytics also flags instances of people making claims out of the norm for their occupation and income level.”

That means that if you’re a dentist claiming on high-vis workwear or sunscreen, there will be some question marks next to your application.

“So make sure you only claim what you are entitled to and keep your receipts so that you’ll have them on hand quickly if we do need to see them," said Foat.

How long will it take for me to get my 2019 tax return?

If you’ve lodged online, you’re looking at up to two weeks for the ATO to process your claim.

However, while you can check on the progress by logging onto your myGov account, there’s no way to speed it up after lodgment.

So, make sure you don’t make any mistakes.

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