The tax accounting network has this week detailed some of the key reasons as to why many refunds will not meet expectations, making particular note of offsetting and human error.
Mark Chapman, director of tax communications for H&R Block, issued the following advice to taxpayers: “There are a wide variety of reasons why taxpayers will not be satisfied with the response from the ATO to their returns, and it is worth chasing up why”.
Simple errors such as failing to nominate a bank account or incorrectly filling in personal details when lodging a return prove to be among the most common mistakes for individuals.
Businesses are faced with an extra set of factors which could ultimately affect the outcome of a tax refund, according to H&R Block.
Voluntary payments to repay outstanding debts, as well as a failure to lodge one or more activity statements are responsible for the majority of retained or reduced refunds in the case of business.
H&R Block stresses the role of the accountant in financial advice, particularly if it is deemed that the ATO intends to obtain additional information in regards to a lodged tax return.
“Most worryingly, the ATO has retained the refund because they intend to check, or verify with you some details shown on your return. This could be a missing item of income, or an incorrectly claimed deduction or simply a request for further information about something you’ve entered on your return,” said H&R Block.
The accounting firm made particular note of the penalties that can face individuals or businesses as a result of ill-informed decisions in their lodgements.
“If the ATO has held onto the return because they intend to review or audit some of your information and you’ve acted carelessly, a penalty between 25 and 95 per cent of the tax avoided may be charged,” the firm said.