My refund is not much. Why is that?

Refund is neither bonus nor government subsidy.

It is only the difference between

  1. Total amount of tax withheld (prepaid tax)
  2. Tax liability on taxable income and

Where 1 is bigger than 1, you can get a refund as over paid tax. The refund amount is 1 - 2.Where 2 is bigger than 1, you get tax payable assessment for a shortage of tax paid. The payable amount is 2 - 1.

To increase your tax refund, 2 should be reduced. To reduce 2, deductions such as work related expenses can help reduce taxable income resulting in reducing 2. 

Or where 1 is bigger, your refund is bigger. This however means that you received less weekly/fortnightly net wage as more tax is withheld. In contrast, less tax refund means that you receive more weekly/fortnightly wage as less tax is withheld. In short, you never get gain or loss.

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