ATO reveals hundreds of thousands of taxpayers could miss out on lump sum due to one simple mistake


Hundreds of thousands of people could miss out on a huge lump sum thanks to one simple mistake.

Australian Taxation Office Assistant Commissioner Kath Anderson revealed in a statement that it was a reason as simple as not filling out a tax return.

‘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,’ she said.

‘Collectively, these clients have millions of dollars of unclaimed refunds.’ 

‘Unfortunately, the tax office can’t return your money until you lodge a tax return.’

People have until October 31 to lodge their return, or see their agent.

Ms Anderson said some people missed out on the cut-off date because they simply weren’t aware of it.

‘Others might be worried about lodging because they haven’t lodged for several years, which often causes them stress and anxiety,’ she said. 

She noted that others delayed lodging if they expected they have a debt.

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

Ms Anderson reminded tax payers that the ATO was there to help.

‘We want all taxpayers to get it right, and we will assist them to do so.’ 

According to the ATO, close to 4.3 million taxpayers have lodged a return via a tax agent and just north of 2.7 million lodged their own returns via myTax.

So far this year, the majority of taxpayers entitled to a refund have had their return processed in less than two weeks.

More than 98 per cent of refunds so far this year have been paid within 12 business days. 

Though, Ms Anderson pointed out mistakes in the returns could delay the process.

Only last month, the ATO corrected $53 million worth of errors.





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