THE Australian Taxation Office has vowed to fast-track refunds for people affected by extreme weather and flooding caused by Tropical Cyclone Debbie and the flooding that following in Queensland and NSW.
Taxpayers and their Tax and BAS agents will also have additional time to lodge income tax returns and activity statements.
Automatic deferrals of one month are now in place for tax lodgment and payment dates for people in identified postcodes. This excludes large pay as you go withholders.
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This means, those with income tax returns that were due 31 March 2017 now have until 30 April 2017 to lodge.
Similarly, for monthly activity statements due 21 April 2017, the new lodgment and payment date is 21 May 2017, and for quarterly activity statements due 28 April 2017, the new lodgment and payment date is 28 May 2017.
Employers are reminded that they still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.
Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said taxpayers do not need to apply for a deferral or a faster refund.
“If your business or residential address is in one of the identified affected postcodes it will happen automatically,” Mr Jordan said.
“You can visit our website to see the new lodgment dates and check if your region is included. Further postcodes may be added as needed, so check our website for more information.
“People outside of the identified postcodes that have been impacted by the disaster are still able to contact us for assistance on 1800 806 218.
“If you are experiencing any difficulties meeting your tax obligations, please contact us so we can assist.
“We understand that for many people their tax affairs are the last thing on their minds right now. When people are ready, we will make sure they are supported in meeting their tax obligations.”
For those with a tax debt, the ATO is suspending debt recovery action until the end of May 2017.
The ATO is also offering a range of support measures, including:
- tailored repayment arrangements;
- remission of interest where appropriate; and,
- interest-free repayment arrangements for eligible small businesses.
Additionally, the ATO may be able to release taxpayers from some or all of their debt if paying their tax debt would cause serious hardship – for example, being unable to provide food and accommodation for themselves or their family.
The ATO can also help reconstruct tax records where documents have been destroyed and will continue to review the ongoing impact of these disasters and any further assistance that may be required for the affected communities.
For more information about available assistance, visit ato.gov.au/disaster