Support to get on track after the bushfires

Support to get on track after the bushfires

This 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season has seen over 18 million hectares burnt, destroying over 5,900 buildings including 2,800 homes. Lives and wildlife have been lost and the cost runs into the billions in lost revenue and clean-up costs.

With approximately 3.5 million businesses, individuals, and self-managed superfunds in the bushfire affected areas, the ATO have granted the following special concessions and relief to the affected postcodes;

  • An automatic extension until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay activity statements, income tax, SMSF and FBT lodgements. The deferral does not apply to: Superannuation guarantee payments or lodgements, Large PAYG withholders (although they will be assessed on a case by case basis if they apply for relief from the ATO)
  • Fast tracking of refunds due
  • Income tax instalments able to be varied to nil without penalty
  • Tax debt recovery on hold until 28 May 2020.
    • Impacted taxpayers need to apply for special consideration. The ATO has stated they will, “consider releasing individuals and businesses from income tax and fringe benefits tax debts if they are experiencing serious hardship.”
    • Interest and penalties accrued by taxpayers in affected areas since the bushfires commenced will be remitted

Support for individuals and families is also provided through the disaster recovery payments, (a tax exempt Federal Government payment), available for those who are seriously injured, have lost an immediate family member or have lost or had significant damage to their home or major assets. Relief includes;

  • $1,000 for each eligible adult, and
  • $400 for each dependent child under the age of 16.
  • An additional $400 to help with education expenses for eligible children. These payments are automatic if you are the primary carer of a child affected by the bushfires after 30 June 2019.

Businesses are also eligible for support if they have suffered direct or indirect economic losses and may be eligible to access;

  • Recovery grants of up to $50,000 (tax free)
  • Concessional loans of up to $500,000 for eligible small businesses (including farmers, fishers and foresters) and non-profit organisations who have suffered significant asset loss or significant loss to revenue. The loan would be for up to 10 years and used for the purposes of restoring or replacing damaged assets and for working capital.
  • A range of State Government grants are also available.

The brave volunteer firefighters in NSW and QLD will also be eligible for payments of up to $300 per day, with a cap of $6,000. The payments will not be means tested and are tax-free, NSW and QLD.

If you have been affected by the fires this bushfire season and would like assistance in claiming and understanding your eligibility, please get in touch with the team today on 9415 1511 or email reception@primeadvisory.com.au.

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