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ATO: Australian Tax Time 2017 'Off To Flying Start'

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

09 August 2017

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has said that it is on track for another record-breaking year, just five weeks into tax time 2017.

According to Commissioner Chris Jordan, over four million returns have already been successfully lodged. This represents an increase of around 350,000 compared to the same period in 2016. This figure also includes an increase of around 72,000 returns lodged through tax agents.

Jordan added that the ATO has so far issued nearly three million refunds, worth a combined AUD6.8bn (USD5.4bn). Most returns are processed within the ATO's 12-day service standard, he said.

Jordan reported that the ATO's online lodgement tool, myTax, has seen an uptake in use. He said: "Last year we saw three million people lodge their own tax return through myTax, which was a record at the time. I'm confident we'll smash this record in 2017, with more than 1.6 million people already lodging through myTax."

"If you're using myTax, chances are most of your information will be pre-filled, you'll have your return done in half an hour, and a refund in your bank account in a week. These are just some of the reasons why it has a 93 percent satisfaction rate with users."

The ATO suffered major system outages in December 2016 and February 2017, caused by multiple failures on the ATO's primary Storage Area Network. In June, the ATO said that the storage system has now been rebuilt to "world class levels of both performance and resilience."

Jordan said: "Our people worked around the clock to ensure our systems were ready to cope with the surge of returns from July 1 – and the hard work has paid off. Overall our systems are performing strongly, better than they were last year. We're also receiving fewer complaints – nearly 30 percent less than at the same time last year."

TAGS: tax | revenue guidance | Australia | tax authority | revenue statistics | individual income tax

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