If you’ve ever lodged your tax return on time, but still wonder how long a tax return takes, you’ve got to ask yourself if you did everything right the first time.

Refunds from Tax Returns lodged electronically usually take up to 2 weeks, while those lodged on paper are processed within 10 weeks. This can even take longer if there’s missing or incorrect information.

Although the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is doing its best to release refunds promptly, they still have to verify your information to make sure everything is in order before they can process your Return.

man reading income tax return document

Factors Affecting How Long Tax Return Will Take

Tax returns usually need to be submitted by 31 October, following the end of the Financial Year, which ends on June 30, and the following reasons can affect when refunds will are released:

  • You also recently submitted other tax returns for previous years (this, in turn, will also be verified for the list of reasons stated here).
  • You have a tax debt.
  • Related Australian financial institution details of your account changed.
  • ATO needs to check your information with other government agencies like Centrelink, Family Assistance, or the Child Support office.
  • Spouse details and insurance data need to be verified and cross-checked within ATO’s Data system.

You’ll have to wait for ATO to contact you if they need to clear up any of the above information.  Generally, you will need to wait at least 30 days before they will accept follow-up phone calls asking about the progress of your Tax refund and will not speed up any official procedures unless you request for official priority processing.

How long does a tax return take? If you’ve done your part, then it’s up to ATO to do the rest.

How You Can Check The Progress Of The Tax Return?

You can track your return’s progress by using:

1. Online Search

Log on to the Online Services ATO site and use an ATO linked MyGov account. Choose the ‘Manage Tax Returns’ option from the home page, then specify the correct financial year.

2. Call ATO’s Self Help Service

You can also learn ‘how long does a tax return take’ yourself, by contacting the official help phone service. (dial 13 28 61, then select 3, and choose 1 afterward).