Tax Relief for Bush Fire-affected Small Businesses

Small business owners caught up in the devastating bushfires are eligible for financial assistance, following a recent announcement by the government. Those who “suffered significant asset loss or a significant loss of revenue” can claim tax-free grants and low-interest loans under the support package.

Announced early this week, those in impacted postcodes can apply for tax-free grants of up to $50,000 and loans of up to $500,000 available for up to 10 years. These loans are subject to a repayment reprieve of up to two years, with no interest accruing during this period.

The ATO also announced an extension of its automatic deferral program to May 28, 2020, on top of the existing two-month extension currently in place.

“If you’ve been impacted by these bushfires, we don’t want you to be concerned about your tax affairs,” Commissioner of Taxation, Chris Jordan, said.

“Now is the time for you, your family and your community.

“We’ll help you sort out your tax affairs later.”

The ATO has reported that there around three and a half million businesses, individuals, and self-managed superannuation funds impacted and the extension will allow for more time to lodge and pay business activity statements and income tax returns.

Additionally, the ATO will be remitting any interest and penalties applied to tax debts since the start of the bushfires for those impacted.

There is no need to apply for a deferral, a faster refund, or remission of interest or penalties as the ATO will do this automatically. The ATO can assist anyone who has lost documents in the bushfires, with more information available by calling 1800 806 218.

The government has also set up a financial support hotline available, run by small business specialist financial counsellors, and you can can contact them on 13 28 46.

If you have any questions, you can also reach out to us here.