Tax

“Give us a call”: Fast-tracked tax refunds on offer for flood-affected businesses

Matthew Elmas /

Business owners affected by flooding in North Queensland can access fast-tracked tax refunds, subject to individual circumstance, amid a whole-of-government effort to assist people in getting back on their feet.

The tax office said on Monday it will continue ongoing support for flood-affected businesses in Queensland, advising firms to reach out if they’re struggling to meet their obligations.

The possibility of fast-tracked tax refunds, deferring or setting up payment plans for tax debt and remitted penalties are on offer for business owners who reach out to the tax office, depending on their circumstances.

Major flooding events in Queensland earlier this year have put many businesses in Australia’s north in difficult positions. The ATO has confirmed it will continue to defer tax payments and lodgements for affected firms, even if they missed an initial deferral deadline.

“We recognise the floods are still impacting many people in the region and we are committed to assisting people to get back on track. Whether you’re an individual, business owner or primary producer, we want to work with you to help sort out your tax affairs,” ATO assistant commissioner Andrew Watson said in a statement circulated Monday.

“If you’re struggling with your tax or super obligations as a result of the floods, give us a call.”

Many farmers in North Queensland are struggling to recover after hundreds of thousands of cattle perished in Queensland’s flooding earlier this year, while other local retail businesses suffered direct flooding damage.

The offer for help comes as departments across government undertake assistance plans for communities affected by flooding in Queensland.

Residents in 18 local government areas in the state, including Townsville, Cook and Flinders, also have until 30 August to make a claim under the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment scheme, a one-off payment to support residents dealing with natural disaster fallout.

The tax office also advised flood-affected businesses to ensure their Australian Business Number (ABN) information is up-to-date, as this could restrict access to government support as the numbers are used to identify where financial disaster relief is needed.

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Matthew Elmas

Matthew is the news editor at SmartCompany. You can contact him at [email protected].