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Tax Counsel Angie Ananda FTIA attended the ATO Briefing for Tax Time 2010 on Thursday, 12 August 2010.

Tax Time processing is continuing and the ATO are working to ensure a smoother processing than the last few weeks.

The ATO confirms that to this point in time there has been more than 1.9 million refunds issued to the value of just over $4 billion. By the end of this week there will be a further large batch of EFT and cheque payments completed in the order of an additional 500,000 refunds in excess of $1 billion. Cheques will take time to go through Australia Post.

Based on feedback from the community, tax agents and professional associations, the ATO issued a Tax Agent Broadcast on Tuesday, 10 August 2010 which provided information on the processing of Tax Time returns and refunds for your clients. This letter may assist you to advise your clients of the progress of their return.

Further detailed information can be found in the Progress Report 2 – 2010 returns.

The ATO have identified that there may be some delays with returns containing Eligible Termination Payments (ETP) and they continue to have a problem in processing some 2010 income tax returns containing ETP's. This is impacting some 88 000 returns. The issue relates to calculations of tax on ETP's, or ETP or Lump Sum Payment offsets. The problem means the ATO cannot finalise assessments where a return contains these elements. The ATO anticipates having a solution deployed before the end of August 2010. We will keep you informed of progress on this matter.

The amount of data available on the pre-fill table has increased dramatically over the past week. Three of the top five banks have provided their interest data and the ATO expects the remainder to be available early next week. Some dividend data may take a little longer due to problems being experienced by the providers, but by the end of next week the majority of pre-fill data should be available. In comparison to previous years, there is more data available at an earlier date than previously.

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