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Once ATO processes your tax return, you will be issued a Notice of Assessment which will show your entitlement to a refund or if you have a tax debt to pay. The notice of assessment is an itemised account of the taxable amount you owe on your taxable income. It also contains other details as the amount of credit for tax you have already paid during the income year.
When you receive your notice of assessment, you have to understand all the items on your assessment and make sure that everything is correct. If you think the assessment is not correct then you need to check all the details of your notice of assessment with your tax return. To better understand the items on your assessment, information is provided on the reverse side of your notice. You also need to understand how your refund or tax liability is calculated.
Usually, if you are not using electronic funds transfer (EFT), the bottom section of your notice of assessment will be either your refund cheque or your payment advice. You will get a statement of account with your notice of assessment when your account balance is different to the outcome of your assessment and this can happen:

  • If you incurred any penalty or general interest charge;
  • When ATO credited interest amounts to you;
  • When ATO offset credits to other tax debts;
  • If you have an account opening balance that is not zero;
  • If you lodged returns for multiple financial years on the same day.


The amount of tax payable or refundable on your initial notice of assessment may be
increased or decreased during the period of time taken to review your tax return. This review period is normally two years, but, in certain circumstances, it can be four years.

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