More than 1.7 million Australians have already filed their tax returns in July this year.
More than 1.7 million Australians have already filed their tax returns in July this year.

Why your tax refund will be bigger this year

Exclusive: Australians rushing to file their tax returns have already received more than $1 billion back in refunds since the start of July.

New Australian Taxation Office figures showed so far in July more than 1.7 million Australians have lodged individual 2019/20 tax returns this month, an increase of 12 per cent compared to the same time last year.

And of these more than 457,000 refunds have already been issued - up 17 per cent on last year - totalling $1.08 billion.

The average refund back is $2365.

At the same time last year 389,000 individual returns were issued totalling $879 million and the average refund was $2258.

The ATO has been inundated this month with people trying to file their returns quickly and on July 1 its portal crashed after it was inundated by cash-strapped applicants.

Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar urged Australians to be careful before rushing to file their returns because mistakes can happen and it will slow down the processing of returns.

"As ever it is important Australians take care and not rush their returns as failing to include income, over claiming deductions or not updating personal details can cause delay in having refunds paid," he said.

"Australians wanting to check the progress of their return can do so by logging onto myGov and clicking through to the ATO or contacting their registered tax agent."

ATO refunds should be fatter for many people - an estimated 10 million Australians are likely benefit from the Federal Government's $1080 tax break - the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) which was outlined in last year's Federal Budget.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset will help put more money back in the pockets of more than 10 million Australians.
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset will help put more money back in the pockets of more than 10 million Australians.


The LMITO means for those earning $37,000 or less than can access up to $255, while for those earning up to $90,000 they can access up to $1080.

The amount an individual receives depends on their circumstances including taxable income and how much tax is paid.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has previously said this offset would help many Australians.

"It's means people can keep more of what they earn providing a much-needed boost to the household budgets," he said.

Also many people who have suffered an income hit in the past financial year and are likely to be taxed at a rate as if they earned the same amount all year, when in actual fact they have not.

This means at tax time they could receive more money back.

The early release of superannuation scheme has also put the ATO under pressure and so far more than 2.57 million have withdrawn $30.2 billion.

The scheme allows those who have taken an income hit during the COVID-19 pandemic including being made redundant this year or having an income drop of more than 20 per cent to access up to $20,000 tax-free.

The scheme closes on September 24.

For those who are self-lodging the tax returns they must do so using the ATO's myTax service and need to do so by October 31.

If an individual is using a registered tax agent they must engage them by October 31 but can actually submit their tax return at a later date.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

 

Originally published as Why your tax refund will be bigger this year



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