Support is available for you
Devastating bushfires have been burning across large parts of Queensland and New South Wales.
If you’ve been impacted by these bushfires, don’t be concerned about your tax affairs. Now is the time for you, your family and community; we will help you sort out your tax affairs in due course.
For example, the ATO can:
- 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 interest-free period
- remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.
Lodgment and payment deferrals
If your business or residential address is in one of the identified impacted postcodes listed, the ATO will automatically grant a two-month deferral for activity statements lodgments and payments due. You or your agent do not need to apply for a deferral.
These arrangements are in line with the financial assistance made available through Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments (AGDRP).
Tax practitioners and their clients affected by this natural disaster can access additional support. For information, see Natural disaster support.
These deferrals do not apply to large withholders (that is, those who have previously withheld more than $1 million annually or are part of a corporate group that has).
Employers will still need to meet their superannuation guarantee obligations for their employees. At law, the ATO cannot vary the contribution due date or waive the Superannuation Guarantee Charge on late super guarantee payments.
If your business or residential address is in one of the identified impacted postcodes, you do not need to ask to fast track a refund that is due to you. The ATO will do this automatically.
Pay as you go instalments
If you’ve already lodged your September 2019 activity statement, you can still vary your pay as you go (PAYG) instalment by revising your activity statement by the deferred due date.
You can also vary your PAYG instalments in future periods. The ATO will not apply penalties or charge interest to varied instalments for taxpayers within the impacted postcodes in the 2019–20 financial year.
If you are a quarterly PAYG instalments payer you can:
- vary your PAYG instalments to nil on your activity statement for the December 2019 quarter
- claim a credit (at item 5B) on your December 2019 activity statement for the instalment amount you paid for the September 2019 quarter to receive a refund of the amount paid.
Monthly GST credits
Businesses that are making purchases in coming months to replace stock and other losses may wish to continue to lodge and pay as normal, or elect to change the GST reporting cycle they use to report and pay GST monthly in order to get quicker access to net amount refunds.
Changing your GST reporting cycle to monthly does not require you to change your PAYG withholding reporting cycle. You can manage this by specifying the roles you are changing.
You cannot change your election back to quarterly until 12 months after you elected to change to monthly. Also, if your GST turnover is more than $20 million you must pay and report monthly.
If you are registered for fuel tax credits, electing to change your GST reporting from quarterly to monthly will mean that you also need to claim your fuel tax credits monthly.
You can change your GST reporting cycle through your tax or BAS agent or in the business portal.