The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten

Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation

14 September 2010 - 1 July 2013

Media Release of 06/01/2011

NO.002

Tax Assistance for Flood Victims

Flood victims in Queensland can get their tax payments deferred and refunds fast-tracked after the Government announced a series of measures to make things a little easier for people dealing with the devastation of the worst floods in recent memory.

Assistant Treasurer, Bill Shorten, said today "The Queensland floods have been devastating for thousands of Queensland families and businesses. As well as the range of support and payments the Commonwealth Government is providing, the Australian Taxation Office is implementing a range of support strategies for those affected by floods."

"Queenslanders who have lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods have bigger concerns than worrying about letters from the tax office, or getting their activity statements in on time."

"Anyone affected by the floods can simply contact the ATO and they will work with you to sort out your tax affairs, or give you enough time to deal with the effects of the floods before you have to worry about tax issues."

The ATO can provide the following services:

  • Fast tracking refunds
  • Providing people and businesses extra time to pay debts – without interest charges
  • Giving extra time to meet activity statement, income tax and other lodgement obligations – without penalties
  • Helping to reconstruct tax records where documents have been destroyed, and make reasonable estimates where necessary
  • Assisting people if they are experiencing serious hardship.

"Businesses in particular are encouraged to take advantage of the offer of a free record reconstruction service, which can help put together replacement records for those lost in the floods," Mr Shorten said.

To request a free 'record reconstruction visit' register online at www.ato.gov.au/assistancevisit. Tick only the box for record reconstruction.

"The Gillard Government is determined to provide whatever assistance is necessary to people in need as a result of the Queensland floods crisis. This support by the ATO is one small but very real way we can make things just that little bit easier for people," Mr Shorten said.

The ATO has set up a dedicated emergency support info line – 1800 806 218 – or visit the website at www.ato.gov.au.

6 January 2011