The Australian Tax Office (ATO) e-tax service has been used 18.5 million times since its inception in 1999.
Australians are increasingly relying on the electronic method of filing tax returns, with the ATO recording over 1 million e-tax lodgements just four weeks after the end of the 2011-12 financial year. Last year, it took five weeks to reach the 1 million mark.
In 2011, 2.6 million people used e-tax, with 74 per cent using the pre-fill service, which automatically inputs information from ATO databases, making it faster to file a tax return. The ATO has worked to collect as much pre-fill information as possible from financial institutions, employers and government departments to expedite the tax-return process.
"This year, most Australian taxpayers who are expecting a refund and lodged electronically will have it in 12 business days or less," Commissioner of Taxation Michael D'Ascenzo said.
In 2010, the ATO was hit with a massive e-tax backlog due to problems with its IT overhaul, causing long delays for tax refunds.
E-tax is currently only available for Windows-based PCs; however, a version of e-tax for Macs is on its way. Unfortunately, Mac users have to wait until 2013 to use it.