Australians that claim their tax returns have been delayed in a backlog are wrong, according to a spokesperson from the Australia Taxation Office (ATO).
“Tax time 2010 is progressing well and we are pleased with how our new computer system is operating,” the spokesperson said. “We have already issued more than 760,000 notices of assessment and 630,000 refunds.
“People will always be sending in returns and we’ll always have some to process but there’s no backlog – we haven’t got any sitting there waiting to be processed.”
The spokesperson claimed the majority of returns had been processed within 14 days and said any that went outside of this period could be getting checked for fraud or mistakes.
While they admitted there had been problems with the tax returns of people with HECS-HELP and Student Financial Supplement Scheme [SFSS] debts, the spokesperson claimed all problems were now entirely fixed.
“We did experience some minor delays processing returns for taxpayers with [HECS and SFSS] obligations,” the spokesperson said. “These notices of assessment and refunds will be issued this week.
“We only process a very small number of returns in the first week of tax time while we thoroughly test and verify new software. People who lodged in this first week of tax time did not receive their notice of assessment or refund in the usual 14 days.”
The ATO’s comments contradict those made by an ATO staff member to ARN, as well as the experience of many Whirlpool forum users. Thousands of posts have described the frustration of many users that have failed to get their tax refunds.