ATO Offers Support For Those Impacted By March Floods

A flooded property in Port Stephens. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

WHILE the severe weather event is now just over a month ago many are still being impacted by flood waters, insurance claims and damage bills.

We don’t often think of getting good news from the ATO but people in Port Stephens and the surrounding region who have been impacted are able to access help from the ATO.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reassuring communities that support is available for those affected by the New South Wales (NSW) and South-East Queensland (SEQ) floods in March.

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The ATO recognises the challenging conditions faced by those in affected areas, especially small businesses, and while their tax affairs may not be top of mind, support is available.

Assistant Commissioner Andrew Watson said that people affected by the disaster should contact the ATO if they are struggling to meet their tax and super obligations.

“Whilst the immediate danger has passed, we understand that there are lasting impacts for these communities, on top of challenges likely already being faced for businesses impacted by COVID-19.

“We are committed to assisting people get back on track.

“We have a range of practical options available to support those who have been affected by the floods, whether you’re an individual, business owner or primary producer we want to work with you to help sort out your tax affairs.” Mr Watson said.

“We know your tax affairs may be the last thing on your mind, but we’re here to help when the time is right.

“If you’re struggling with your tax and super obligations as a result of the floods, give us a call on 1800 806 218 to discuss how we can support you.

“You can also discuss your options with your registered tax professional if you have one.”

The ATO can assist through providing extra time to pay their debt or lodge tax forms such as activity statements, help re-construct tax records that are lost or damaged, fast track refunds, set up a payment plan tailored to individual circumstances, including interest free period, remit penalties or interest charged during the time people have been affected.

The ATO is also reminding business owners that it is important to keep their Australian business number (ABN) information up to date, as it is used by Emergency Services and other government agencies during times of natural disaster, used by the Government to identify where financial disaster relief is needed to help businesses recover in disaster affected areas, and likely to be checked if they are applying for a grant or loan for their business.

For more information about support available, visit ato.gov.au/disasters or phone 1800 806 218.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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