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ATO outlines tax relief for bushfire victims

Bushfire
Sarah Kendell
07 January 2020 — 1 minute read

The ATO has outlined the ways in which those impacted by Australia’s bushfire crisis will be given relief from any outstanding tax obligations.

In a statement on the ATO website, the regulator said it did not want those affected to be concerned about their tax affairs, and would be helping individuals with any obligations once the crisis had ceased.

“For identified impacted postcodes, we’ll automatically grant deferrals for lodgments and payments due. You or your agent don’t need to apply for these deferrals,” the ATO said.

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“We recognise the ongoing effects of this disaster and will continue to update identified impacted postcodes.”

Lists of impacted postcodes in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria were available on the ATO website. Automatic deferrals applied to both businesses and residential addresses, the ATO said.

Those who had been impacted but did not reside in a postcode that was on the ATO’s identified impacted postcode list could call the regulator’s Emergency Support Infoline for assistance. Alternative helplines were available for non-English speakers, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders and those with hearing or speaking difficulties.

“To help you, we can, for example, give you extra time to pay your debt or lodge tax forms; help you find your lost tax file number by using methods to verify your identity such as date of birth, address and bank account details; re-issue income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment; help you reconstruct tax records that were lost or damaged; fast-track any refunds owed; set up a payment plan tailored to your circumstances including interest-free period; [and] remit penalties or interest charged during the time you were affected,” the ATO said.

Individuals could also talk to their tax agent, who could work with the ATO to provide appropriate support, the regulator said.

ATO outlines tax relief for bushfire victims
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