ATO here to help WA communities affected by bushfires and Cyclone Seroja

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is reassuring communities that support is available for taxpayers across Western Australia who continue to deal with the impacts of bushfires and Cyclone Seroja. The ATO is aware that many taxpayers are doing it tough and will continue to stand with these communities throughout their recovery.

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

“We recognise the challenging conditions faced by those in affected areas, especially small businesses, on top of challenges likely already being faced as a result of COVID-19. We know your tax affairs may not be top of mind, but we’re here to help when the time is right. There are a range of practical options available that can be tailored to your individual circumstances, whether you’re an individual, business owner or primary producer, we want to help you get back on track.” Mr Watson said.

“If you’re struggling with your tax and super obligations as a result of Cyclone Seroja or bushfires, 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.”

If people are having trouble meeting their tax and super obligations, the ATO can help. Depending on individual circumstances, the ATO may:

  • give people extra time to pay their debt or lodge tax forms such as activity statements
  • re-issue income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment
  • 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 periods
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time people have been affected.

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, and If you have lost your tax file number (TFN) we can use another method to verify who you are and help you access your tax information.

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
  • likely to be checked if they are applying for a grant or loan for their business.

Business owners can access, change or cancel their ABN details online at abr.gov.au. All changes made to their ABN online will take effect immediately.

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