"Last year I lodged a return for a new client who had not lodged a tax return for probably 26 years. The only reason to lodge the return was to get a refund of TFN withholding tax. I tried to add the client via the portal only to get the red light for a non existent TFN. I decided to lodge the return using the TFN shown on her Centrelink pension statement. The return was "taken offline" for processing and subsequently took 2 months to process. At least she was paid some interest for the delay. To my absolute amazement I received a further cheque for my client in the amount of $58.08 received in February 2009. The explanation for this refund was for the replacement of a stale ATO cheque issued on 1/6/1982, making it a 26 year wait for a new cheque. I cannot believe the ATO system would be that good to be able to trace a stale cheque from that long ago. Congratulations to the ATO for having such a system in place. Dare I press my luck and ask for compound interest on $58.08 for 26 years? Somehow I don't think so!"