Millions of Australians will be rushing to file their tax returns this month and there are some easy ways to get money back quickly.
Millions of Australians will be rushing to file their tax returns this month and there are some easy ways to get money back quickly.

Quickest ways to get your tax return money back

MANY hasty Australians rushing to lodge their tax returns in a bid to receive money back are being urged to make sure they all have their relevant information first.

The Australian Taxation Office's assistant commissioner, Karen Foat, said July and August were the peak periods to submit returns but Australians needed to be patient.

"We know people who are expecting refunds will want to lodge early but our advice is to make sure you are including all of your information," Ms Foat said.

"They can put their return in anytime from the first of July but there are things we automatically include that make it much easier and those things are usually ready by the end of July."

Since July 1 the ATO has been inundated with Australians lodging their tax returns for the 2019/20 financial year as well as others submitting applications to access their superannuation early.

The combination of the two forced the ATO's portal into meltdown during the week and they are now limiting how many lodgements can be made at a time.

Ms Foat said when using the ATO's online MyTax portal it takes most people just 30 minutes to lodge.

Latest Australian Taxation Office figures show in the 2017-18 financial year, of 14 million individuals who lodged, 71 per cent used a tax agent and 29 per cent used MyTax.

July is the busiest month for people lodging - last year more than three million people lodged in July alone.

Ms Foat said the ATO's average processing time of returns was usually two weeks if they were filed electronically but it could sometimes be completed within one week.

However, there were multiple things that could hold up the speed at which a return could be processed," she said.

ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat said there are some simple ways to speeding up the processing of your tax return.
ATO assistant commissioner Karen Foat said there are some simple ways to speeding up the processing of your tax return.

"This includes leaving out income and another big one we saw last year was people not updating their bank details," Ms Foat said.

"And also claiming things that it's quite obvious you are not entitled to, they're claims that are really big compared to other people who have the same occupation and it might attraction out attention."

If you file the wrong information or have missing information in your return, you could end up with a tax bill down the track.

H & R Block's director of tax communications, Mark Chapman, said "there's a lot of people who are struggling financially".

"They may potentially get bigger refunds because they have lost their job," he said.

"But if you can it's best to wait. A lot of the automatically downloaded information from employers and health funds won't start to flow through until the middle of July or even the third week of July.

"This means it will be missing and won't be preloaded by the ATO."

However, Mr Chapman said some people would be able to gather their information manually and enter without having to wait for data to flow through from employers, banks and companies.

"For instance, you can work out your pay from your pay slips, you interest from your bank statements, so it's a bit more of a manual process if you are going to lodge early," he said.

For those lodging their 2019-20 returns themselves, they must be submitted to the ATO by October 31.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

Originally published as Quickest ways to get your tax return money back



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