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ATO holds millions in unclaimed refunds after 200k skipped lodgment

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ATO holds millions in unclaimed refunds after 200k skipped lodgment

About 200,000 taxpayers who failed to do their taxes last year would “likely” have received a refund, according to the ATO, as part of a campaign to push for on-time income tax lodgment.

Tax&Compliance Jotham Lian 03 October 2018
— 1 minute read

With the deadline of 31 October for self-preparers edging closer, the ATO is looking to drive lodgment compliance, with about 7 million completed returns lodged so far this tax time.

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Broken down, about 4.3 million taxpayers have lodged via a tax agent, with just over 2.7 million taxpayers having lodged their own returns through myTax.

“We estimate there are 200,000 individual salary and wage earners who are likely to have been either due a refund or owed a small amount of tax, but who had not lodged a tax return. Collectively, these clients have millions of dollars of unclaimed refunds,” said ATO Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson.

“There are a few reasons why Australians might not lodge even if they are due a refund. Some might not lodge because they don’t realise they need to – maybe they are on a low income or haven’t worked recently. Others might be worried about lodging because they haven’t lodged for several years, which often causes them stress and anxiety.”

“We know some people put off lodging because they think they’ll owe money, but for self-preparers the payment is due on 21 November whether or not a return is lodged.”

According to the Tax Office, over 98 per cent of refunds have been issued within 12 business days this year.

However, it has warned against making some common errors, including not declaring all income streams and over-claiming deductions, with over 112,000 tax returns corrected over the first two months of tax time 2018, totalling more than $53 million.

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ATO holds millions in unclaimed refunds after 200k skipped lodgment
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

With a focus on breaking news and exclusive analysis, Jotham keeps Accountants Daily readers up to date with company moves, tax updates and essential business and client strategy. 

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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