H & R Block Bushfire Affected Assistance
Australians hit by the bushfires should know that help is available to them. With many taxpayers needing help getting back onto their feet, understanding their obligations and how they can meet them when they may have lost valuable records, H&R Block Australia is offering free consultations to taxpayers who have been hit by the recent bushfires burning across Australia.
We would like to use our tax expertise to be able to help our communities deal with and recover from these events. The free consultation can assist Australians with getting tax affairs back in order if they’ve lost records in the bushfire or are applying to the ATO for an extension.
To further our support to all those affected by the devastating bushfires, H&R Block will donate $100,000 to the Australian Red Cross.
The recovery is complex and will be an on-going issue that our nation will face for months to come. As a business we are thinking of, and concerned for, those affected by this devastation and we will look for as many ways as possible for H&R Block to help these communities recover.
To get in touch with H&R Block Australia, call your local H&R Block office on 13 23 25
What you need to know if you’ve been affected by the bushfires
1. If you are unable to lodge your tax return or activity statement, the ATO can give you more time to lodge.
2. The ATO uses a list of 'affected postcodes' to identify people and businesses in disaster-affected areas. They then offer automatic extensions to those people whose tax obligations would ordinarily have fallen due at or about the time of the disaster. At present, the ATO has offered concessions to taxpayers in fire affected postcodes in New South Wales and Queensland but with fires still burning, additional postcodes in NSW, Victoria and South Australia are certain to be added in the next few days. In addition, existing deferrals may be extended.
3. Even if you are not in the affected postcode however, if you can show that were affected by the fire (perhaps your employer was in the fire affected district, for example, or perhaps you are in a neighbouring postcode which was also fire affected but not singled out by the ATO), you may still be able to ask for help from the ATO. H&R Block can advise you how to proceed.
4.If you are expecting a refund from an income tax return or activity statement, the ATO may be able to arrange for your refund to be issued as a priority.
5.If you are experiencing financial difficulties because of a disaster, you can ask the ATO for more time to pay your tax debt, interest free. This includes amounts owing on your activity statement.
6.If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of a disaster, you may receive a relief payment from: local, state or federal government agencies; a charity or community group; or your employer.
7.If activity statements or records of receipts you’ve made for your tax return claims have been destroyed in a fire, the ATO can accept the claim without it being substantiated.