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How to Check the Progress of Your Tax Return

how to find where my tax return is

Posted by Tax Advisor on 18 May, 2012

After lodging with the ATO (Australian Taxation Office), it can feel like you’re left in the dark. Here’s how to check the progress of your tax return….

We’ve all heard the horror stories of people waiting 2, 4, even 7 months for their refund. This wait can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you need the money to pay the bills.

Now the ATO’s Progress of return enquiry tool lets you check the status of the income tax return you lodged for the immediately previous financial year.

Instead of waiting on the phone to speak with a live representative, you can get a quick update on the status of your return online 24 hours a day, seven days a week after lodging your taxes.

What can I view on the ATO’s Progress of Return Tool?

The ATO’s Progress tool allows you to check the progress and status of the following;

  • original and amended tax returns lodged for the current year
  • original and amended tax returns lodged for prior financial years

That means not only can you check the progress of your current year return, you can also see your lodgement history. Keep in mind, the tool is only for individual tax returns. You won’t be able to view the progress of companies, trusts of partnerships with it.

How Can I Get Started Using the ATO’s Progress Tool?

In order to conduct a search using the Progress

of return inquiry tool, you will first need to create a myGOV account and link it to the ATO. If you already have an account, that’s great, you’ll simply link it to the ATO .

It’s good to know to check the progress of your return, you’ll need your tax file number. 

Why is my Return Taking So Long?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, phone the ATO to check the status of your return at 13 28 66.

If your refund is taking a long time, your return could have been flagged for review. Cause for review includes incorrect or missing information or a “high risk” refund claim.

It’s likely your return was delayed by a review if the ATO suspected any of the following:

  • understated income or claims for false PAYG withholding credits
  • overstated or fraudulent deductions
  • non-entitlement to claimed rebates or offsets
  • non-entitlement to a claimed Medicare levy exemption
  • non-residents claiming to be residents for tax purposes
  • instances of identity takeover through theft of tax file numbers and personal details.

If you still need to lodge a return, you can lodge prior year returns dating back to 2005-2006 or a current year 2015 return  by creating an account on The application allows you to enter your tax information quickly and easily. After, you’ll be able to use the ATO’s Progress of your Return tool to view your return status!

Updated on 19/5/2014 Photo via Will on Flickr.

Category: Taxes

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