As you have seen over the past year, our country has been affected by the devastating bushfires which have damaged communities, homes and impacted wildlife and more importantly people.

When there is a significant disaster, the ATO implements a support program to assist those who have been impacted. The ATO advises that taxpayers who have been affected by the bushfires need not worry about their tax affairs at this stage. Certain impacted postcodes will be granted deferrals automatically in relation to lodgements and payments due.

For those residents impacted by the bushfires but are not listed in the postcode impacted list, you can simply contact the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 and discuss your situation confidentially.

An example of what the ATO Support Infoline can help with:

  • give you extra time to pay your debt or lodge tax forms such as activity statements
  • help you find your lost tax file number (TFN) by using methods to verify your identity such as your date of birth, address and bank account details
  • re-issue income tax returns, activity statements, and notices of assessment
  • help you re-construct tax records that are lost or damaged
  • fast track any refunds owed
  • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual circumstances including an interest-free period
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

The ATO has also granted small and medium businesses an additional 2-month lodgement deferral on activity statements and payments. There could also be further deferrals to include additional areas and payments as the government and ATO estimate the economic cost from the bushfires at around $2 billion (and rising)

For a full list of impacted postcodes by state, you can visit the ATO page:

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/Bushfires-2019-20/

If you also are interested in helping our fellow Australian regarding the bushfire incident then you can visit our this blog to donate to the Queensland Rural Fire Service to help our brave firefighter men and women.

If you require any assistance regarding any lodgements and/or payments, please contact PJT Accountants and Business Advisors in Sunshine Coast and contact us on 07 5413 9300 or email us at enquiry@pjtaccountants.com.au.