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On Wednesday 23 October 2013, the ATO Tax Practitioner Advisory Group (ATPAG) held their regular Tax Time 2013 update and the following key messages have issued subsequent to the meeting:

  • Tax Time 2013 continues to proceed very well.
  • The ATO has received approximately 8,863,000 returns (for all years) and has finalised approximately 8,469,000 returns (for all years).
  • ATO is offering support for tax practitioners and clients as a result of the NSW bushfire disaster.

Processing performance compared with Tax Time 2012 (current year returns)

Returns Received Returns finalised Number of refunds issued Value of refunds issued
To 21 October 2013 8,030,000 7,530,000 6,301,000 $16.58 (bil)
To 21 October 2012 8,166,000 7,531,000 6,334,000 $15.11 (bil)


Pre-issue integrity checks

Currently we have 29,000 returns on hand for review.

Following recent changes to the eligibility to claim the Dependant (invalid and carer) offset, the ATO estimates less than 10,000 taxpayers would be eligible to claim this offset. The ATO has received around 41,000 returns with the offsets claimed.

  • 36,000 returns have processed and will be subject to a data matching review;
  • 5,500 have been stopped and will be reviewed prior to processing the assessment.

Tax practitioners were reminded of the changes via e-Link 37/13 on 19 September 2013 and e-Link 39/13 on 4 October 2013.

For more information, refer to Dependent (invalid and carer) tax offset.

Telephony service standard performance to date:

From 1/7/2013 to 22/10/13, we received 3,179,319 inbound calls and achieved service commitments of-

  • Tax practitioner calls - 91.8% of calls answered within 2 minutes;
  • General taxpayer calls - 82.2% of calls answered within 5 minutes.

During this period, the average wait time was 34 secs for Tax practitioners and 125 secs for general taxpayers.

Weekly updates on performance standards are published on our website.

Tax agent portal

Recent issues experienced following the latest deployment have now been resolved and we are currently working on further improvements to ensure stability into the future.

Further information on current system maintenance and issues is available on our website.

Are your clients affected by natural disaster?

The current bushfires are causing significant damage to some areas of New South Wales.

If you or your clients are located in one of the postcodes identified on our website, we will automatically make arrangements to defer taxation obligations.

There are a range of support strategies, including:

  • the deferral of lodgment and payment due dates;
  • fast-tracking refunds;
  • contacting registered tax and BAS agents to determine what assistance you need;
  • limiting our correspondence to people who live in the affected areas. 

To keep up to date with the affected postcodes and what we are doing, refer to Natural disasters - October 2013.

Our Help for registered agents affected by natural disasters website page contains information to assist you and your clients in the event of a natural disaster.

Members who seek further information in relation to the above should contact us at Tax Policy.