MEDIA RELEASE: Expect faster GST refunds from ATO

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Small business can now expect faster GST refunds as a result of changes to ATO (Australian Taxation Office) practices following a decision in the Full Federal Court between the Commissioner of Taxation v Multiflex Pty Ltd. The ATO can no longer hold onto GST refunds beyond a reasonable time for administrative processing of a refund.
"The slow processing of GST refunds as a result of ATO verification processes can have severe consequences on small businesses and restrict important cash flow. Small business does not have the same financial resources as larger organisations to cushion themselves against delayed refunds.
"Practitioners have long complained about trying to recoup money owing from the ATO on behalf of clients. This case is a welcome relief for businesses waiting on refunds to maintain their working capital requirements," said Andrew Conway, chief executive officer from the Institute of Public Accountants.
The ATO had already anticipated an adverse outcome and was improving its response time on processing GST refunds. The ATO can no longer hold back a refund for verification purposes but can issue an amended assessment if it is warranted.
The ATO was not granted Special Leave by the High Court to have this case reheard. This case represents a major blow to its administrative practices regarding refunding of GST payments.

Small business can now expect faster GST refunds as a result of changes to ATO (Australian Taxation Office) practices following a decision in the Full Federal Court between the Commissioner of Taxation v Multiflex Pty Ltd. The ATO can no longer hold onto GST refunds beyond a reasonable time for administrative processing of a refund.

The slow processing of GST refunds as a result of ATO verification processes can have severe consequences on small businesses and restrict important cash flow. Small business does not have the same financial resources as larger organisations to cushion themselves against delayed refunds.

"Practitioners have long complained about trying to recoup money owing from the ATO on behalf of clients. This case is a welcome relief for businesses waiting on refunds to maintain their working capital requirements," said Andrew Conway, chief executive officer from the Institute of Public Accountants.

The ATO had already anticipated an adverse outcome and was improving its response time on processing GST refunds. The ATO can no longer hold back a refund for verification purposes but can issue an amended assessment if it is warranted.

The ATO was not granted Special Leave by the High Court to have this case reheard. This case represents a major blow to its administrative practices regarding refunding of GST payments.



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