The Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) E-tax application has continued to grow in popularity this year, with the Commissioner of Taxation Michael D'Ascenzo releasing the most recent progress report on the nation's income tax returns today.
The report showed that this financial year, the ATO has received 1,225,536 lodgements using E-tax, an increase of about 5 per cent on the previous year.
Despite E-tax being only available on Windows, about 16 million lodgements have been made using it since it was first introduced in 1999.
Additionally, 72 per cent of E-tax users so far this year have chosen to use the pre-fill feature to download information from other financial institutions and government agencies. Some of the new information included in pre-filling this year was parental leave payments, foreign employment income and employee share schemes.
Including non-E-tax returns, the ATO has finalised around 2.5 million returns for this year, and issued about 2.3 million refunds worth a total of $5.24 billion. In the past week alone it finalised 690,000 returns, and issued 655,000 refunds worth $1.54 billion for 2011.
The report also provided an insight into why some returns may take longer, such as when people forget to include details like their date of birth, if they have a complex tax return that requires manual checking or if their claims were considered potentially fraudulent. So far, the ATO has stopped over 49,000 returns, worth about $190 million that it believes may be potentially fraudulent or overstated.