The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reassuring flood-impacted communities in Queensland and New South Wales that support is available. The ATO recognises the situation is evolving, with many areas continuing to face challenging conditions while others are in different stages of recovery.
Assistant Commissioner Andrew Watson said that people still dealing with the immediate impacts of the floods should not worry about tax and focus on current concerns. Those who are able, can contact the ATO or their tax professional if they are struggling to meet their tax obligations.
“We want to assure the community that support is available if and when you need it. We understand the lasting impacts disasters like this can have for affected communities. We are committed to assisting people to get back on track,” Mr Watson said.
The ATO is also providing support for small business and individual taxpayers in affected local government areas (LGAs) in Queensland and New South Wales who need to lodge business activity statements and instalment notices with an original due date of 28 February 2022 or 21 March 2022.
“There is no need for taxpayers impacted by floods in these local government areas to call and request a deferral for business activity statements that are now due,” Mr Watson said.
These taxpayers can lodge relevant returns up until 28 March 2022 and do not need to request a lodgment deferral if they are able to lodge by that date. If unable to lodge by 28 March 2022, taxpayers or their tax professional can apply for a deferral, which will be granted on a case-by-case basis.
The ATO also has a range of practical options available to support those who have been affected by the floods, like the support we offered during the 2019/20 bushfires and COVID-19. Depending on individual circumstances, the ATO will develop a tailored plan for you and your small business.
“We know your tax affairs may be the last thing on your mind, but we’re here to help with tailored support when the time is right, whether you’re an individual or small business owner. The payment due date of these lodgments will not change however we will take an empathic approach to your situation,” Mr Watson said.
If your records have been damaged or destroyed during a disaster or incident, the ATO can re-issue copies of income tax returns, activity statements and notice of assessments. If you have lost your tax file number, we can use another method to verify who you are and help you access your tax information.
If your tax circumstances have changed because of floods, you can change your GST reporting cycle to monthly reporting and payment and vary your PAYG instalments.
The ATO recognises that not all taxpayers in flood affected LGAs have been directly impacted. These taxpayers should contact the ATO or their tax professional to discuss their circumstances if they need additional support.
The ATO is also supporting tax professionals in affected areas. Tax professionals that have been affected by the floods can contact the ATO when ready for tailored support through our supported lodgment program.
For more information visit ato.gov.au/NaturalDisasters or phone the ATO’s dedicated Emergency support line on 1800 806 218.