The ATO has extended its package of tax assistance for people impacted by the bushfires in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania as part of the whole-of-government response to the disaster.
Taxpayers in impacted postcodes will now have until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay their business activity statements and income tax returns. Impacted businesses that pay their PAYG instalments quarterly will also be allowed to vary these instalments to zero for the December 2019 quarter and claim a refund for any instalments made in the September 2019 quarter. The ATO estimates that 3.5 million businesses, individuals and self-managed superannuation funds will qualify for this extension.
Affected taxpayers can vary their income tax instalments to nil without penalties. This also applies if taxpayers end up in a tax payable situation for that quarter once they have lodged their tax return.
The Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) will also allow tax practitioners affected by the bushfires more time to lodge their registration renewals.
Duty and land tax relief is also available for taxpayers in South Australia affected by the bushfire