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Worst Day Ever: Why haven’t I got my tax refund yet?

Categories   News & Updates

You know that feeling when you keep checking your online bank account to see if your tax refund is in there yet? Yeah, we know it too, and it’s no fun. So what’s the hold up? Well, there are plenty of things that can slow down the process. Let’s take a look at these common tax mistakes so we can help you get your tax refund as fast as possible!


Oops 1: You’ve filed an incomplete tax return

Let’s start with the number one doozy: missing information on your tax return. This failure to include basic information that is up-to-date and current can make a big difference in when you get your tax refund. Missing forms and schedules only add to this mess, so have a checklist nearby for all the things you need to send along, or better yet, do it online. Double checking your information is good, but a third time gander will only help you spot any gaps. The IRD does not process refunds for the latest financial year until around mid-June each year. For example, refunds for the 2016 financial year will not be processed until mid-June 2016, however a result can be provided in advance. This delay in processing does not impact refunds for previous financial years which can be paid out immediately so get in touch with us today!


Oops 2: You’ve made some mistakes

Oh dear, you’ve done the math wrong and the IRD thinks they owe you less than you claim. New Zealand tax code isn’t a walk in the park, and when you do your returns manually, the scope for error is massive. You’ve got to factor in your tax credits, any special circumstances, and any extra incomes on the side, exemptions and deductions. It’s enough to make the most math-loving people go mad! All of these computation errors lead to one thing: a delayed tax return.

Oops 3: You’ve used the incorrect IRD number

Your IRD number is pretty important when it comes to filing your taxes. Those little digits hold the key to what you’ve earned over the tax year and using the right number is vital to whether or not you get your tax return on time. Filing online will help you avoid this mistake as the computer program will catch these common errors, by rejecting your submission. That said, if you’re feeling nostalgic and you insist on filing manually, jot down the numbers right? It’s a simple mistake, but also a popular one! Miss out on the delayed tax return and the back and forth with the IRD by double checking and triple checking your paper work. A little extra time spent on the filing process will serve you better in the end.

oops Tax

Oops 4: You filed late

You are super busy and we get it. But filing your return at the last minute, with the throng of thousands of late, laid-back Kiwis joining you is only going to result in a delayed tax return. Filing on time doesn’t have to be hard, especially if you’re using us for that extra edge. It should literally only take a few minutes of your time online, then we do the rest. Easy peasy.

Oops 5: You used the wrong bank account number

The way to get a delayed tax return is by putting down the wrong bank account number on the form, it really is. And if you’ve filed on paper, you can expect quite a hefty delay at that. While this may tempt you to ask for a cold, hard cheque: don’t do it! Bank cheques will only take more time, and as you know, time is money – time is your refund money. Again, this can easily be avoided by double checking your details before you press send or lick the back of an envelope.

Oops 6: You filed a paper tax return

Paper is coming back into style because a lot of us are getting tired of living our lives online. There’s also the question of data security when filing delicate information online, too, so it’s understandable if you’re finding yourself more comfortable with manual filing. That said, filing on paper is going to take a lot longer when it comes to receiving your tax refund. It can take up to six weeks to send tax refunds from paper-filed returns as these paper files need to be entered into the computers at the IRD by hand. Filing online will get you your tax return faster.

Oops 7: You need to make changes

Gather ‘round and listen to this story:

You’ve filed your return on time and you’ve made a copy to keep in your documents. Good work.

 You take a final look before filing it away in your office and BOOM you spot a mistake. Bad, bad work.

 Maybe you messed up on the maths, or maybe you remembered a cash job that you forgot to mention. Either way, you need to make the necessary changes but this is going to slow the entire tax refund process down completely.

 You curl into a ball and roll under the bed for the remainder of your life. The end.



Don’t beat yourself up – it’s a common mistake. And it’s easily fixable. Get in touch with the IRD and tell them that you’ve caught a mistake. You certainly don’t want them to catch it for you! They’ll be able to guide you through the change making processes, or we can do it for you.

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WHOA: Account Under Review

Nothing will make your heart skip a beat more so than the following: your account is under review. What does that even mean? It can be a bit scary and cryptic, right? You’re probably counting how many years you’ll be spending in the slammer because you didn’t claim that $20 you made from your paper route back in 1986.

Calm down and take a breather: the IRD just needs a little more time to look at your account, that’s all. And there are quite a few things that lead them to this conclusion:

  1. Working for Families Tax Credits
  2. Incorrect income information
  3. Student loans
  4. Large refund amounts
  5. The information on your return and what Inland Revenue hold on record are different.

The only trouble with account reviews is that they can take up to 9 weeks to finalise, which can be a real pain if you need that tax refund money ASAP. Trying to find out what the account review is about is sometimes difficult: often the IRD won’t be able to tell you why your account is under review until the review is close to being finished.


Avoid a Tax Return Delay at All Costs

We’ve given you the main tips to ensure a quick tax refund, but let’s just summarise them here:

  1. File online
  2. Double check the information you provide to make sure it’s all there
  3. Triple check the information you provide to avoid having to make any changes
  4. Request direct deposit and provide the right bank account number
  5. File on time or early if you can
  6. Use MyTax to get your tax refund


If you really want to get that tax refund back as fast as possible, just follow number 6. That said, sometimes our filing processes can get held up too.


When your MyTax tax refund is delayed, it’s the result of a few possibilities. For instance, we may have calculated a larger refund than the IRD thinks you’re owed, so they might have to take some time to do the maths right! We fight the good fight to make sure the IRD is paying you exactly what you’re owed, and sometimes that can take a while.

Other problems arise with Working for Families tax credits, and the number of sources of income you may have. Sometimes we simply need to get more details from you because there are gaps in the information you provided us with. Other times these gaps in your earnings can indicate that you might be working under the table, and we’ve got to touch base with you on how you were able to support yourself. And of course there’s the situation of when you have an Account Under Review. As long as you provide us with the correct information at the beginning, all of these kinds of delays can be avoided.

And there you have it: you want a fast tax refund, you want MyTax. Get in touch today so we can get the ball rolling!




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